Lawyers join GBV fight

GENDER based violence (GBV) has no place in Zambia and it is gratifying that lawyers are getting actively involved in the fight against the scourge, Gender Minister Nkandu Luo has said.

In a speech read on her behalf by Gender deputy Minister Colonel Joseph Lungu during a legal practitioners meeting to discuss the Anti-Gender Based Violence Act no.1 of 2011 in Lusaka on Wednesday, Prof Luo observed that lawyers played a critical role in the dispensation of justice in the country.

Prof Luo noted that for many years, however, lawyers had been excluded from community initiatives due to the negative public perception about the profession. “It is encouraging to see lawyers getting involved in the fight against gender based violence. GBV knows no profession or status. We are all affected and therefore we must all be involved,” Prof Luo said. She pledged that Government would remain committed to support initiatives that seek to end GBV in the country.

“Government will continue to promote the rule of law and access to justice for all, especially for the most vulnerable,” Prof Luo said.

And Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) president George Chisanga advised lawyers to take personal interest in building their capacity to adequately handle gender based violence cases.

Mr. Chisanga said the rising cases of gender based violence in the country needed commitment from everyone including lawyers to fight against it. And European Union Charge D Affaires Rune Skinnebach expressed concern that incidents of GBV have continued to record an upward trend every year in Zambia. Mr Skinnebach said the need for Zambia to address the vice with regard to human rights and global health remained enormous because it was crucial to reverse the trend. He said the EU would continue to support Zambia in her efforts to combat gender violence and in keep the issue on the agenda.