Chipinge has been identified as a hotspot for gender based violence (GBV) as well as early child marriages due to the district’s peculiar cultural practices.
The remark was made recently at the official launch of Culture Actions: Gender-based Violence, Early Child Marriages and Climate Change Programme in Hanganya village in Ward 8.
The programme is a brainchild of various organisations that include Diocese of Mutare Community Care Programme (DOMCCP), Culture Fund of Zimbabwe Trust and other organisations.
Speaking at the official launch, Culture Fund of Zimbabwe Trust executive director, Farai Mpfunya said they chose to launch the programme in Chipinge because of certain cultural practices that make it a gender-based violence hotspot.
“We targeted Chipinge because there are certain traditions and practices that are peculiar and these make it an area where gender-based violence is likely to occur.
“Issues to do with climate change such as floods also make it a likely hotspot for early child marriages and gender-based violence.
“We were also drawn to work in Chipinge because we were invited by our partners in this region who are willing to co-ordinate and deal with issues of gender-based violence and early child marriages,” Mpfunya said.
Speaking at the launch, DOMCCP Chipinge project officer Ronald Chihana said there were many factors to do with climate change and environmental issues that are leading to gender-based violence.
“The Culture Actions Programme targets three thematic areas that are gender-based violence, early child marriages and climate change because they are interlinked.
“There are many factors on climate change and environmental issues that are instigating gender-based violence.
“If there is hunger caused by lack of rains, men would go out to look for jobs and women are left home.
“This can lead to economic abuse because the man knows that he is the one who is working and women are left as dependents.
“This scenario can also lead to physical abuse in terms of labour where women are left work in fields yet men are elsewhere,” Chihana said.local