Ending Gender-Based Violence is Good for the Family

When society stops condoning violence against women, the stage is set for a change for the better. Local partner Central Church of Africa Presbyterian, Zambia (CCAP) is helping men understand what gender-based violence is so that they can be good fathers, husbands and brothers to the women in their lives.

John and Esther say they were happy in their marriage until the first of their six children was born. John says that pressures began to mount and he took refuge in alcohol, sometimes selling household items or even his wife’s clothes to pay for it. Esther’s several missing teeth are a reminder of his physical abuse during this period, before their community focused on gender justice.

CCAP chose eight community members to receive training in gender justice and social inclusion and to receive monitoring and before sending them back to their homes to facilitate community dialogue. These gatherings place heavy emphasis on understanding the root causes of gender-based violence, and addressing and eliminating it within homes. They also promote increased participation of women in decision-making processes. Breaking the silence around gender-based violence, which was typically thought to be between the husband and wife alone, is an important step toward changing the culture.

Community discussions focus on how families are stronger when all members are respected and have a voice in decision making. Through role-playing, skits, open discussions and song, participants see positive examples of what it means to be a good husband, as well as behaviors that represent a negative example of a husband.

John says, “By following the example of other men who’ve changed their behaviors, I started reflecting on what I was doing and I would refuse to go out with my friends to drink. The program also helped me relate to my children. Before that, I had no time to spare for them.”

Esther notes that, because of the community-wide awareness and support, things are better between them. “From the time my husband got involved with gender justice activities there has been peace in our household. We do things together, have improved our farm, saved money, and even built a sturdier brick home with a metal roof.”

Zambia Lundazi Program
Led by World Renew and Local Partner Central Church of Africa Presbyterian, Zambia (CCAP)


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