TWENTY SIX traditional leaders in Milenge district have successfully completed a five day training in handling sexual and gender based violence.
The training was organised by Natwampane, a consortium of organisations such as World Vision, Caritas Mansa, LUCTU Chambers, Women for Change and the Forum for Women Educationalists in Zambia(FAWEZA).
ZANIS reports that Natwampane Samfya Cluster Coordinator, Adam Muchangwe said the training was aimed at equipping traditional leaders with knowledge on sexual and gender based violence issues.
Mr Muchangwe noted that traditional leaders are custodians of traditions and cultural norms that perpetuate sexual and gender based violence hence it was essential that they be educated on the matter.
“We have trained the village heads so that they can champion the fight against sexual based violence in their communities. Participants were drawn from all the wards across Milenge district, ” he stated.
Mr Muchangwe added that Natwampane is a five year project being run by the Zambian government in partnership with the European Union.
He said the village heads were also sensitised on Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR).
He explained that for them to better champion sexual rights, traditional leaders needed orientation on SRHR matters.
And Gostern Mumba, one of the participants said the training has helped him become vested with knowledge on sexual and gender based violence.
Mr Mumba, who is also the Village Head Man for Gostern Mumba village, said he previously did not know how to handle such cases and most women in his village had their rights infringed on.
“Now that I have this information, I will ensure all the perpetrators of sexual and gender based violence in my village face the law. I will also spearhead the fight against early marriages in my community,” he explained.