Strengthen Services for Victims of Gender-Based Violence, Caritas Zambia Urges Government

Poster calling for an end to Violence against women. Credit: CGTN Africa

The Zambian government has been urged to intensify services that contribute towards the healing of victims of Gender-Based Violence (GBV), which is on the increase in the Southern African nation.

In a statement released on the commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women Thursday, November 25, officials of the humanitarian and development arm of the Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops (ZCCB) say they are “disheartened” by the increasing violence against females.

Statistics from the Zambia Police show that 850 girls out of 1,027 children have been abused while at least 2,437 women out of 3,015 adults have experienced GBV within the third quarter of 2021.

“Strengthen the care and support services for the victims and survivors. This includes decentralization of the care and support services to the lowest community/ village level,” the officials say in the statement signed by Caritas Zambia Project Manager for Child Protection, Conflict Transformation and Peace Building (CTPB) Program, Ms. Matanga Munkonze.   

The official who describe the violence against women and girls as a “horrific plight” add that government should provide police officers with more resources to enhance law enforcement and deal with all forms of violence against women and girls.


“The government must also reinforce proactive efforts to integrate measures in all outbreaks preparedness, for instance, COVID-19 and develop clear recovery plans to address violence against women and girls and ensure that these efforts are adequately funded,” they say.

Officials of the development and humanitarian arm of ZCCB further urge the government to establish more one-stop centers where GBV victims are given holistic services under one roof, free of charge.

The one-stop centers will “fully eliminate violence against women and girls and at the same time deal with the inconveniencing victims/survivors are subjected to,” they say in the Ms. Munkonze-signed statement.

Further, Caritas Zambia officials task the government with ensuring that GBV cases are “fairly dispensed by police and the judiciary promptly with specific warning and sanctioning measures in an event that the policies and procedures are not followed.”

To support this, they say, the leadership of the Southern African country “must also ensure that more safe houses are constructed across the country especially in rural districts as a temporary measure to safe-keep the victims/survivors away from the perpetrators.”

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Caritas Zambia members add that the government needs to “harness the energy, ideas and leadership of young people to help in ending this pandemic of violence.”

“Only then will we have a more just, peaceful and equitable world and be accountable to act now!” they say. 

In the statement released on a date that marks the start of the annual 16 days of activism against GBV, Caritas Zambia officials say promoting autonomous women and girls rights movements in the country can help supplement government efforts in the fight against the violence. 

The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an annual international campaign that kicks off on November 25, and ends on December 10, Human Rights Day.

This year, the event is being marked under the theme, “Orange the World: End Violence Against Women Now!’’


Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.