by MARCUS MUSHONGA
HARARE, (CAJ News) –THE European Union (EU) has allocated €500 million (about R7,5 billion) for a global initiative to eliminate violence against women and girls.
The scheme, known as Spotlight, has been launched in the Zimbabwean capital Harare in conjunction with the United Nations (UN).
In line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the EU-UN initiative will fully integrate responses to violence against women and girls, with a focus on domestic and family violence, sexual and gender-based violence and harmful practices, femicide, human trafficking and sexual exploitation.
“The elimination of violence against women and girls is not only central to achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5, but is a pre-condition and driver to the achievement of the entire Sustainable Development Agenda,” said UN Zimbabwe Coordinator, Bishow Parajuli.
SD G 5 focuses on gender equality and women’s empowerment.
Latest surveys in Zimbabwe show violence against women and girls is endemic.
One in every three women aged 15-to-49 in Zimbabwe have experienced physical violence since the age of 15.
In addition, 27 percent of women in the same age group have experienced sexual violence at some point in their lives.
Harmful practices are also perpetuating with a child marriage prevalence rate of 32 percent in the Southern African country.
One in every ten adolescent girls are giving birth every year.
Delphine Serumaga, UN Women Country Representative, called for joint efforts to end violence against women and girls in Zimbabwe.
“Zimbabwe is under the global spotlight,” Serumaga said.
– CAJ News