Government says 28,700 girls country wide, were retrieved from early marriages and sent back to school under the Girls Education and Women Empowerment project from 2017 to 2020.
Minister of Gender, Elizabeth Phiri says during the same period, 75,000 vulnerable women, country wide, were supported.
She said this when she paid a courtesy call on North-western province Minister Nathaniel Mubukwanu today before proceeding on her Gender Based Violence (GBV) fact finding tour.
“For now there are some additions apart from the 75,000, but we are still recruiting and there are some additional numbers which could be beyond 100,000 but the first phase was about 75,000, ” Ms Phiri said.
She added that there has been an increase in the number of GBV cases in the country which could be a sign that people are well sensitized and they are able to report cases.
“But even when it is on the higher side to us we feel people have realized the importance of reporting the matter unlike before when they were just keeping it to themselves when they were battered, ” Ms Phiri said.
Mr Mubukwanu said the church should be given a prominent role in addressing gender issues in the country.
“ We are very much alive to the fact that most of this gender based violence occurs in our homes and these people who are in these homes are the same people who go to sing in choirs in church and also stand on the pulpit and preach, ” he said.
Mr Mubukwanu said it would not be a misplaced attempt if the church was given a prominent role to help address the issues of gender in the country.
Meanwhile, Young Women Christian Association Regional Coordinator, Chileshe Mwape revealed that North-western province has recorded 146 GBV cases from January to March, this year.
“From the 146 cases only six were males, the 140 were females”, Ms Mwape said.
Ms Mwape said their youngest victim of defilement that they have sheltered in their safe house is three years old.