Economic  Justice key in ending GBV

Economic Justice key in ending GBV

Date: December 13, 2017
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By Mariatu Fonnah

The Gender Links Sunrise Campaign in 10 Southern African countries, 100 local councils and among 1500 women has shown how empowering women economically makes a difference in the secondary prevention of GBV.

Exildah Chinyama, a programme beneficiary from Solwezi in Zambia shares her story, “I experienced serious abuse because my husband was abusing me physically, economically and emotionally. This led to marital problems and I needed a way out or to deal with the situation.

 I came to the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) upon referral by the Police Victim Support Unit (VSU) where I had reported my husband for GBV. It was at this time that the YWCA informed me of the Entrepreneurship workshops by Gender Links Zambia. I have so far attended four workshops and my most memorable moment was during the first workshop.

 The facilitator explained to us that one way we could end GBV was not to depend solely on our husbands financially. She explained that this was one of the major contributors of GBV prevalence in homes and relationships. At the end of the phase one workshop, I realised that I could do any kind of job that a man could do. At this point, I decided that I would become a professional welder. The reason I chose this particular profession was because there are very few women professionals in this field and this would make me very marketable. I usually use my situation as an example to other women who feel they cannot exist without their abusive partners/husbands. A full video interview of Exildah is on the GL website here.

GL’s “healing through writing” approach to promoting gender justice and equality has created opportunities and provided spaces for survivors of all forms of gender violence to speak out, participate in various conversations and document their experiences through I-Stories such as Exildah’s. GL has collated over 2000 stories of change from abusive experiences and women who have broken the chains of abuse and violence in their lives and households.

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