FAITH leaders from different Apostolic and Zionist denominations in Mutasa District this week confirmed their commitment to end child marriages and Gender Based Violence.
This comes at a time when the world is commemorating 16 Days of Activism Against GBV.
Union for Development of Apostolic and Zionist Churches in Zimbabwe (UDACIZA) is raising the religious leaders’ capacity in integrating GBV in their regular preaching.
The leaders who have been receiving training in gender championing and on how best to tackle GBV matters and child marriages within their communities and churches were also equipped with tools to enable them of transmit the knowledge to other females at the grassroots.
In an interview, Start Awareness Support Action (SASA!) Faith project officer, Miss Ruvaraishe Tapera said they managed to break barriers within the apostolic and zionist communities through the project.
“We have seen a positive evolution in the attitude towards equality for education, child marriages and GBV, especially among women.
“We want to create a safe environment for our women and girls in the apostolic and zionist churches. We are trying to reduce the burden of GBV, with women more prone to it. We encourage faith communities to uphold the Christian values of justice, peace and dignity, in which we are saying families should be able to live in peace and give each other mutual respect. There is less likelihood of violence to occur,” she said.
In an interview, Kubatana Apostolic Church founder, Bishop Zachariah Mukura said as religious leaders, they have pledged to protect women and girls as the child marriage and GBV rates in the district are alarming.
“It is not a secret that child marriages and violence against women are rife in the apostolic and zionist churches and that is what we are fighting. We want to end this as leaders. The country will not develop if we turn a blind eye to such evils.
“We are spreading the word to our congregations that it is a crime to assault a woman or marry an under-aged girl. All that should stop forthwith,” Bishop Mukura. – Manica Post