SAYWHAT Calls for Urgent Action to Address Gender-Based Violence among Youths.
SAYWHAT has noted with concern rising cases of Gender Based Violence (GBV) among young people, including students in tertiary institutions.
It is indeed sad that the scourge is costing the lives of young people, with the most recent case being the unfortunate death of a Chinhoyi University of Technology (CUT) female student who was allegedly murdered by her boyfriend following a misunderstanding.
SAYWHAT extends its heartfelt condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of the deceased girl.
This incident calls for urgent action by the government and college authorities to come up with measures to ensure students are protected from all forms of violence and make the college environment a safe space where young people’s dreams are nurtured.
As SAYWHAT, we emphasise the need for colleges to be more intentional in developing and implementing programs to safeguard students’ Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) rights including life skills orientations and availing the needed SRH services to students.
On May 3, 2019, the Newsday published a story headlined, “NUST Student appears in court for rape”. The story alleged that a male student lured a female student to his room where he raped her. Another publication, the H-Metro also recently published an article narrating how a Chinhoyi University of Technology (CUT) female student was allegedly murdered by her boyfriend following a misunderstanding. Before the student was murdered, it is alleged she had suffered a lot of abuse in the hands of the boyfriend.
These unfortunate incidences mirror a disturbing increase in cases of gender-based violence among young people. We call for collective action among various stakeholders to provide more support to young people-centered programs to address their SRH challenges including strengthening initiatives to address gender-based violence in the context of young people
SAYWHAT further implores colleges and university authorities to review the adequacy of their current life skills packages of learners off and on campus. Zimbabwe cannot continue to lose young lives under circumstances that can be prevented if the rightful efforts and prioritisation of students reproductive health needs is done.