WOMEN’S Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCoZ) says the Covid-19 lockdown period has seen a surge in Gender Based Violence (GBV) recording over 700 cases.
In a statement, WCoZ raised the alarm and urged government to activate its relevant systems.
“We call upon government to realise that the impact of the lockdown in the past 11 days has resulted in 764 cases of GBV being reported. It is problematic to note that the national responsiveness and readiness systems to fight GBV rests upon the civil society actors and government has not taken the lead in fighting against GBV” he said.
The women’s group expressed concerns over continued reluctance by government in taking the lead in the fight against GBV.
“We call upon government to step up its support to address the domestic violence during the lockdown with stronger measures driven by state to stop the violence.
“We emphasise that GBV responsiveness is critical within the Covid-19 pandemic,” WCoZ said.
The women’s group amplified the call for the disbursement of funds to frontline institutions and personal protective equipment.
WCoZ also urged treasury to disburse funds to the Health Ministry and local authorities for them to be able to strengthen Covid-19 responses.
Recently government was also urged to be on the lookout for GBV cases by legal watchdog, Veritas.
“The government should be aware of the problem of increased domestic violence during the lockdown.
“More facilities should be made available, and more information on the problem and on where help is available should be distributed nationwide through government,” the watchdog said.
GBV cases have not spared the western world either during the ongoing lockdown periods.
Australian government provided USD 142 million fund to tackle domestic violence.
In the United Kingdom, the National Domestic Abuse helpline has seen a 25 percent increase in calls and online requests for help since the lockdown.
In Australia there has been a 75 percent rise in Google searches relating to help for domestic violence since the start of the lockdown.
– Zimbabwe Voice