In Zambia, the subordination of girls and women reflects the imbalances in power relations between boys and girls; and between men and women. The patriarchal system which is a culturally acceptable way of life has deeply entrenched social cultural values and practices that celebrate male dominion over females which inadvertently contribute towards denial of opportunities for the growth and development of girls and women in all settings. Violation of girls and women rights is often punctuated by physical abuse, economic and emotional abuse.
Globally, Gender Based Violence (GBV) cases continue to affect the psychosocial wellbeing of girls and women with the onset of Covid 19 compounding the vice even further. In Zambia, GBV cases have continued to rise a situation that requires urgent call to action. According to the Zambia Police Victim Support Unit Department Report of 2020, the country recorded 7,640 GBV cases and 8,557 cases respectively during the Fourth Quarter. This showed an increase of cases by 917 cases showing an increase of 10.7 %.Additionally, 586 cases of Child defilement were recorded with 585 of those cases involving female juveniles and only one (1) case involving a boy.
Low involvement of children and young people is generally a big impediment in addressing gaps in gender, HIV and other developmental interventions in a more sustainable way. Sport In Action understands that when children and young people are brought into a safe space, it is easy harness their energy and collective wisdom for improved program interventions. The organization further understands that having a well knowledgeable and skilled cadre of young people can help to bring about a paradigm shift in the way society appreciates the concept of gender equality and equity as yardsticks for development.
Other than advocating for local, sub and national policies and actions as enshrined in the Global Accountability Framework of the United Nations as espoused in the Sustainable Development Goals, adopting a sustainable approach through empowering youth as agents of social change on such matters become a moral imperative.
Through the Natwampane Project in Northern province, Sport In Action endeavours to build a cadre of children and young people through trainings in Psychosocial Life Skills. The training which will be a partnership between Sport In Action and the Ministry of General Education, will attract 380 in and out of school children from Kaputa, Nsama, Mporokoso, Lunte, Luwingu and Lupososhi. The trainings will run from 15th March to 3rd April 2021 and delivered in line with Covid 19 guidelines as outlined under the Ministry of Health which will employ social distancing, masking, sanitizing of hands and provision of hand washing basins in stipulated points.
It is envisaged that with the right knowledge and skills, young people will be able to identify and appreciate their indispensable roles and responsibilities in addressing the gender imbalances, male superiority complex and acquire capabilities that enable them to engage in constructive debates and dialogues on sexuality, gender and other important topics with adults