Implementing partner for the UN Joint project on Adolescent Girls (JPAG), Youth net and Counselling have commended the girls programme for reducing cases of gender based violence amongst girls in Chikhwawa District.
Speaking during a recent tour, District Youth Officer for Yoneco, Chigonjetso Chiromo said girls were being victimised in so many ways but the situation has improved since the introduction of the
“Some of the gender based violence’s which were there included forced marriages, rape, beating of girls/women, child labour and incest. The JPAG programme and its partners sensitised community members about GBV and the need to prevent this,” he said.
Chiromo further said the programme has also constructed structures for community victim support units (CVSU); and established a toll free GBV hotline.
Chiromo added that cases of violence are now reported to CVSUs, chiefs and the police which was not previously the case.
“Some cases of very young adolescent girls who got married were brought back to their parents’ homes and sent back to school. JPAG has contributed to cases being reported by victims but challenges still remain as a significant proportion of cases are not reported.
The tricky part comes in when the abuser was a relative, nonetheless, when neighbours here about it, then case gets to be exposed,” he added
JPAG was a three year project being implemented by UNFPA, UNICEF, WHO and UNESCO whose objective was to strengthen mechanisms for protection and management of violence, abuse and exploitation of adolescent girl in the project areas among others.