16 days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence 2020

Harare and all implementation Districts - November 25, 2020
Background: The Civic Forum on Human Development (CFHD) joined the world in commemorating the 16 days of Activism against gender-based violence. The Civic Forum on Human Development (CFHD) is a human-centred organization with a focus on capacity building of communities, community-based organizations and local government structures to work together for sustainable development in rural, peri-urban and urban areas of Zimbabwe. Over the years the CFHD has been partnering and collaborating with a wide range of organizations and institutions at national, provincial, district and sub-district level in supporting evidence-based mechanisms for creating dialogue, communication, collaboration and coordination with multiple stakeholders working in the human-centred development sector particularly in marginalized rural settings of Zimbabwe. In response to the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence, CFHD is conducting learning platform workshops across ten provinces of Zimbabwe with an aim to creating a shared understanding of the emerging GBV issues and response mechanisms that are needed for addressing key human rights challenges and ensuring key lessons are captured for better management of similar situations across Zimbabwe and as well as strengthening formal linkages with other support organizations. These learning platforms will motivate and support Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), Community Based Organizations (CBOs) and communities to develop local GBV Action plans and to document lessons learnt in the process for wider sharing. Network-Based Approaches Despite the organisations’ tremendous effort in raising awareness on human rights centred development, issues on early marriages, Gender-based Violence (GBV), deprivation of women and girls rights are the major development concerns that require concerted efforts from all development partners. Gender-based violence, particularly sexual violence, is a widespread and alarming element of the crisis. Those living in areas where the security situation is porous are at risk of rights violations, abduction, sexual slavery, rape, torture and abuse. Thus, CFHD has networked with CBOs, CSOs, traditional and community leaders, local government and rural councils on the sharing of knowledge, ideas and experiences among development actors working on human rights issues through learning platforms to collectively address challenges of gender-based violence and all human rights abuses. This was initiated to improve coordination, strengthen the response to human rights abuses and referral pathways, documentation and sharing of success stories on effective Gender-Based Violence protection and promotion mechanisms in rural and urban areas. Collaborative Approaches with SIDA and IOM Over the years the CFHD has been partnering and collaborating with a wide range of organizations and institutions at national, provincial, district and sub-district level in supporting evidence-based mechanisms for creating dialogue, communication, collaboration and coordination with multiple stakeholders working in the human-centred development sector particularly in marginalized rural settings of Zimbabwe. The initiatives have been aimed at creating dialogue, communication, collaboration and coordination with multiple stakeholders working in the human-centred development sector particularly in marginalized rural settings of Zimbabwe. Result Based Impacts at Community level The CFHD has made significant progress in achieving the set targets: • Increased knowledge on civil and socio-economic rights to communities and local leadership through civic education training workshops. • Awarding CBOs, local authorities and gender champions with a platform to discuss issues affecting their communities in a manner that has enabled awareness on broad range methods of monitoring gender rights violations that include, observations, interviews, site visits, surveys, focus group and audio-visuals. • Contributing towards the revitalization of effective and formal GBV referral linkages across the provinces of Zimbabwe • Contributing towards improving access to critical material and assistance to women and girls vulnerable to GBV. • Coordinating peer to peer and CSOs training and networking on women and gender rights which has contributed to an increase in the access and utilization of human rights protection information and services by citizens at the grassroots level. • Coordinating the establishment and strengthening of GBV learning platforms within selected rural areas. The initiative has created human rights formal referral linkages with other support organizations. • Pioneered the 3 plus 2 approach which entails that for every five priorities identified in the community, three should respond to the general public whilst two should specifically be women and youths centered. Through the three-plus two approach the CFHD has witnessed the construction of mother’s shelters, clinics, creation of empowerment circles and gender mainstreaming and sensitivity is now core on rural community programming. Impact of Interventions Through CBO Networks The CFHD supported its network members and their extended network of peer educators to implement a series of activities that include peer to peer human rights training and networking in selected rural settings. Through its network with local CBOs, the CFHD has managed to capacitate peer educators on monitoring, documenting and reporting GBV. The organisation has also been working for hand in glove with its CBOs and selected district councils in the establishment/strengthening of fully functional referral pathways across its networks. The CFHD has been supporting learning platforms on child marriages and child rights in rural areas of Zimbabwe. The learning platforms have been aimed at creating a shared understanding of the emerging issues and response mechanisms that are needed for addressing the key human rights challenges on child rights and ensuring key lessons are captured for better management of similar situations across Zimbabwe. The learning platforms have been contributing towards improving coordination and referral pathways for a strengthened response to women and child abuses/violations. The CFHD has also been conducting mobile human rights clinics in rural areas of Zimbabwe. The mobile clinics have been aimed at educating local communities on child rights and to enhance and strengthen their capacity to provide advice on child rights violations. For instance, in commemoration of the Human Rights Day, in 2019 a mobile human rights clinic in Mutoko was conducted under the theme “Child protection is everyone’s business” the event resulted in local communities being imparted with information and knowledge on child rights and child marriages. Linkages with Government and other Human Rights Organisation Creating safe spaces for all and fighting in unity to end GBV is core to CFHD activities. The CFHD will continue collaborating and partnering with the Central Government, local authorities, CBOs, CSOs and a wide range of relevant stakeholders in ensuring women and girls are protected against GBV. Priorities for strengthening Actions Against GBV at local level • One of our key priorities is to stop GBV from happening in the first place through strengthening the capacity and expand the engagement of local partners to improve GBV prevention and response efforts • The CFHD believes that GBV campaigns should be an all year round commitment whereby relevant stakeholders come up with priorities for strengthening actions on GBV across all project implementations and addressing the underlying causes of GBV and violence against women.