UN Women, Oxfam launch gender awareness in Matobo

Although GBV remains a serious challenge in the country, it is underfunded and most communities lack access to basic violence response services


Non-governmental organisation, Hope for a Child in Christ (HOCIC) in partnership with United Nations Women and Oxfam, is implementing a start awareness support action (SASA) programme in Matobo district, to help reduce violence against women and new HIV infections.

HOCIC programmes officer, Nomzamo Ncube told Southern Eye during the advocacy meeting in Bulawayo on Friday that SASA was a Swahili word for “now”, showing the urgency with which issues of violence should be dealt with.

“Our approach includes raising awareness on the benefits of non-violence, advocacy efforts and conducting social audits on access, service delivery and utilisation of gender-based violence services. Essentially, it is a tool kit which prevents violence against women and HIV,’’ Ncube said.

She said the organisation felt it could use the ecological model, where social norms are changed through engaging influential people in the community.

Ministry of Women Affairs district development officer, Christine Nyathi said migration of men to neighbouring South Africa exposes many couples to HIV infections and has also resulted in divorce or violence if one party strayed.

The director for sexual agenda, Musa Sibindi said there were few organisations working on gender-based violence (GBV), unpacking policy framework and laws governing GBV.