CSO unite for the 16 Days of Activism Against GBV

The expo will be open to the public from 9am-4pm with free entry.

MORE than thirty civil society organisations and gender equality activists will come together on 28 November for the UNITE! Equality Expo at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe.

The one-day event will include displays by various organisations and activists, artworks, interactive side events, and performances.

The expo will be open to the public from 9am-4pm with free entry.

The Netherlands embassy is hosting the occasion as part of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign to showcase the diverse action in Zimbabwe promoting the safety, wellbeing, and equal rights of women and girls.

Dutch ambassador Margret Verwijk said that the event seeks to create new linkages and inspire action against gender-based violence, stigma, and inequality in all forms.

"The fight to end gender-based violence has been going on for years. But girls and women are still disproportionately affected by violence and abuse, which has a serious negative impact on not just the individuals, but families, communities and the fabric of society," she said.

Globally, an estimated 736 million women — almost one in three have been subjected to physical and sexual intimate partner violence, non-partner sexual violence or both at least once in their life and this figure does not include sexual harassment.

The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence is a global campaign against GBV running from November 25 to December 10 each year under the banner of UN Women.

Some of Zimbabwe's most established anti-GBV organisations such as Musasa and Mbare SGBV Clinic, will showcase at the UNITE! Expo, sharing information and offering services on the day.

The expo will also feature many smaller organisations and activists working to promote equality for women in education, politics, culture, and the economy.

"Violence against women and girls does not happen in a vacuum. There are layers to it, starting with outdated beliefs about gender roles, negative stereotypes, dangerous stigma, exclusion from education and other services, economic marginalisation and more.

All forms of inequality make girls and women more vulnerable to violence and abuse, and so we support initiatives for socio-economic and political inclusion, from the grassroots up," said Verwijk.

"This event will celebrate the inspiring people doing this critical work and create linkages that can spark new partnerships and innovation. There will be displays on agriculture, creative arts, business, IT, the environment, and a lot more" she added.

In 2022, The Netherlands joined a small group of countries including Canada, France, Germany, Spain and Mexico in subscribing to a feminist foreign policy.

This approach makes gender equality a primary consideration in all the relationships and work being done abroad.

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