Nompilo Mathuthu

21/09/2021

Esigodini Residents in Matebeleland South Province have expressed concern over the increase of Gender Based Violence (GBV) cases as well as child pregnancies which have been linked to illegal miners.

This was revealed during a gender based violence awareness meeting organised by Women Institute for Leadership (WILD) and Esigodini residents.

In an interview with Nompilo Mathuthu (WILD) Communication Officer Bridget Ndlovu said they have been hearing reports about gender based violence in the in the community hence there was a need for such a meeting.

“The importance of this meeting was to educate Habane residents on GBV and how as citizens we can mitigate against this pandemic. Over the years residents in Habane have been sharing that there is a rise of GBV with many young girls becoming victims,” said Ndlovu.

“We thought it necessary that we engage residents and try to raise awareness on this important issue particularly women and men. We invited the men because it is important to have them so that we can eradicate this poison. “

Habane Councillor Partson Sibanda said they have had quite a number of GBV cases especially during the lockdown.

” Some of these cases were not effectively attended to but as the lockdown is easing up some of these cases are now being taken care of and refered to the Police, ” said Sibanda.

“The most serious issue is of the girl child who during this lockdown has been given free time to roam around and some of them have been impregnated. We are emphasising parents not to shun those little girls that are pregnant, they should go to school as it is their right. “

Sibanda said they are are worried over the increase of artisanal miners in the small town who are increasing cases of GBV.

“These illegal miners have money and they are manipulating young girls.That influx of over population has caused a rise in GBV. There is also the issue of overcrowding in houses due to these illegal miners.”

Gender based violence in rural areas is mostly underlooked but since the beginning of the lockdown a lot has been brought into light ,by even community leaders.

Ends///