Monday, September 20, 2021
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MyAge Zimbabwe trains men, boys on gender based violence

Terrence Ndowora

My
Age Zimbabwe is implementing Brother2brother programme which aims to train
young men and boys in Masvingo province to curb sexual and Gender Based
Violence (GBV) against women and girl child.

The
organisation’s media and visibility officer, Blessing Godi said the programme
was informed by drastic increase of sexual and gender based violence cases during
national lockdown.

“The
program came in place after we noticed an unsettling increase in occurrences of
sexual and GBV cases against the backdrop of Covid-19 outbreak,” said Godi.

He
said it has created a platform for boys and young men in Masvingo province to
discuss gender-related issues with the aim of identifying the role they can
play in addressing sexual and GBV.

“As
MyAge Zimbabwe, we implemented the Brother2brother programme with support from
Steps for the Future to curb sexual and GBV against women during Covid-19,”
said Godi.

He
said Covid-19 lockdown and the restriction in movement increased GBV cases in
the provinces as victims are exposed to abusers.

He
said the stay-at-home orders affected women and the girl child from accessing
support and help from external organizations.

“It
has also become increasingly clear that many of the measures deemed necessary
to control the spread of the virus are not only increasing GBV-related risks
and violence against women and girls, but are also limiting survivors’ ability
to distance themselves from their abusers as well as reducing their ability to
access external support,” said Godi.

Brother2brother
programme, which started in December 2020, trains young men and boys to become
gender equality activists’ and to increase awareness on Covid-19 through social
virtual platforms.

“The
brothers are not only being allowed a platform to share on their experiences
and values around gender related issues but they are also being trained as
behavior change champions of gender equality.

“One
of the key components of the model is focusing on Covid-19, with champions being
trained on how to increase awareness of the virus through interpersonal
communications,” said Godi.

The
organization use film screening as a method of disseminating information on
Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights issues that affect young people.

MyAge
Zimbabwe has encouraged other related organizations to engage in the programme
in order to curb sexual and GBV.

“It
is critical that all actors involved in efforts to respond to covid-19 across
all sectors take into account engagement of men and boys in addressing sexual
GBV,” said Godi.

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