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United States Assists 82,000 Zambian Survivors of Gender-Based Violence
4 MINUTE READ
December 6, 2023

LUSAKA – The United States government assisted over 82,000 survivors of gender-based violence (GBV) in Zambia through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Stop Gender-Based Violence activity.

Over the last five years, the USAID Stop Gender-Based Violence activity trained over 5,000 GBV multidisciplinary response teams, including police, local government, and physicians across the country in screening for GBV.  Individuals in these teams are referring survivors to One Stop Centers and the teams established 35 Gender Desks within health clinics across the country to support GBV prevention and response activities.  More than 82,000 survivors of GBV received post-GBV services at these One Stop Centers.  Additionally, the project supported the participation of more than 2.2 million Zambians in community dialogues on prevention of GBV and HIV, and 6.6 million people followed social media posts produced by 14 trained influencers, who shared information on preventing and reporting GBV.

The USAID Stop Gender-Based Violence activity also helped establish 16 anti-GBV Chiefdom Secretariats to lead the coordination and prevention of GBV and promotion of gender equality in communities.  Lastly, nearly 250,000 boys aged 10-14 graduated from the Coaching Boys Into Men violence prevention program that trains and motivates high school coaches to teach their young male athletes about healthy relationship skills, mental health practices, and that violence does not equal strength.  The boys are now educating others to build respect for girls and women.

After five years, the activity is transitioning to the new USAID Stop Gender-Based Violence Now activity, which will scale-up GBV prevention and response in Central, Copperbelt, Northwestern, Luapula, Northern, and Muchinga provinces.  The USAID Stop Gender-Based Violence Now project will produce digital and multimedia campaigns, use GBV hotlines for tele-counseling, and increase involvement of men through a specific “MenCare” activity to educate men on healthy, equitable relationships and non-violent parenting practices.  These activities will be conducted in close partnership with the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Community Development and Social Services, and the Gender Division at the Office of the President.  The USAID Stop Gender-Based Violence Now project will also strengthen private sector engagement to ensure that survivors access services such as shelter and economic strengthening for vulnerable individuals, which will help prevent GBV.

The ramifications of GBV are far-reaching.  When individuals experience GBV, they are less likely to finish school, find secure employment, or be able to contribute to Zambia’s economy.  A 2021 International Monetary Fund study using USAID Demographic Health Survey data found that if sub-Saharan African countries in the sample were to reduce the level of GBV closer to the world average of 23 percent of women experiencing abuse, it could result in long-term GDP gains of around 30 percent.

Chola Mulenga, a coach for the Coaching Boys Into Men program, leads a session with students at Munali Secondary School in Lusaka. Photo credit: Morgan Siddle.