Young people in Bauleni have suggested that empowering both girls and boys holds the keys to ending violence against women. At a forum at Nyumba Yanga Primary school, which is in the outskirts of Lusaka, Zambia’s capital, the youth drawn from YMCA Bauleni said that empowered people have a low possibility of orchestrating violence against women.
For men, they will reduce beating their women while for the women, they will be able to cater for their own needs hence reduce financial reliance on men. They will also not be silent and condone gender based violence whether against them or their friends and in society in general.
The youth argued that violence against women was caused by conflicts and misunderstanding between couples. Secondly, traditional beliefs as well as the dependency syndrome caused violence against women. When asked what should change the youth suggested that women should become entrepreneurs and develop skills, the men and women should also be taught Christian values in organizations such as Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA).
They added that, everyone in society should also report violence against women. They further delved into alcohol as being a contributor to violent behaviors against women, arguing that if bars are closed early and opened late, it will give those who drink less hours hence not get drunk to beat up the women. The youth believe that a person’s state of mind changes when they are under the influence of alcohol and this escalates to wife and husband battering in the home.
The youth were also asked what women should do to end violence against women. They suggested that the girl child should be fully educated so as not to be dependent on a man. Lastly in order to end VAW, women should aim for greater things and higher education, they should report all kinds of violence against women and finally women should respect their husbands.
As some of the solutions, they stated that society should also uphold Christian values through youth programs like YMCA to educate the families in the communities about the negative impact of GBV. The group also suggested stiff punishment to anyone involve in GBV.