Financing Agreement Signing Ceremony for the SGBV Prevention and Support Program
The Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ), with the support of the European Union (EU), will be implementing over the 6 following years a Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) Prevention and Support program to SGBV survivors in Zambia which aims at reducing SGBV and helping victims of SGBV in two targeted areas.
This 25 million EUR program will be fund by the EU and meets with the EU member states’ ambition to fight against gender-based violence and to promote women and girls’ rights.
Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) and child marriage are main social issues in Zambia and the number of cases recorder is on the rise: 18 088 SGBV cases were recorded in 2015, 18 540 in 2016 and 21 504 in 2017.
SGBV is enhanced by a high level of social acceptance, with 47% of women and 33% of men agreeing that a husband is justified in beating his wife.
Moreover, awareness and support services to SGBV victims are limited and not systematically provided. Most victims do not dare to come forward and to seek for help and support.
However, the Government of the Republic of Zambia is highly committed to eradicate SGBV and child marriage in Zambia and has implemented many programs over the years: the Anti-GBV Act in 2011, the Gender Equity and Equality in 2015, the National Strategy on Ending Child Marriage in 2016…
The SGBV Prevention and Support Program
The overall objective of this new program is to reduce SGBV in targeted areas through prevention and greater access to comprehensive support services for SGBV victims. The program targets both Nothern Province and Luapula Province for having the highest SGBV rates in the country. From 2018 and for the next 6 years, all 20 districts of both Provinces will be addressed and assisted.
To fight against SGBV, it is necessary to change mindsets and behaviors, some of them linked to the cultural background. Therefore, by enhancing partnerships with traditional, religious and political leaders, the program aims at changing beliefs, attitudes and practices. The program will also heavily rely on mass media through a partnership with BBC Media Action to raise awareness.
The program will be supported by Lifeline/Childline which provides 24-hour-free countrywide helplines for anyone in need of counselling or assistance. The numbers are the following: 116 Childline and 933 Lifeline.
Finally, the program will also support strengthening of the government’s institutional and policy framework through Technical Assistance and Monitoring to the Ministry of Gender and other relevant Ministries involved in fighting SGBV in Zambia.