The sexual and reproductive health and rights movement, Katswe Sistahood, has entered into a partnership with seven churches and a group of community leaders in Harare, Zimbabwe, via the SASA Faith program to advance the fight against sexual and gender-based violence in the region.
Seeking to broaden their reach, the organization wishes to reach a larger audience through the churches in the fight against sexual and gender-based violence, while sensitizing religious bodies on the need to join in the campaign as their input is vital.
The Programmes Officer with Katswe Sistahood, Paidamoyo Chitsika, noted that for long-time churches have been left out in the fight against gender-based violence, and it is time to change that.
“As Katswe Sisterhood we are working with seven churches in Epworth whereby we are working we are talking about preventing violence against women and HIV and lately churches have been neglected in terms of speaking about sexual gender-based violence so we saw a need to go there and speak against it so that we break the silence and encourage them to speak out,” she said.
Talking about the efforts being made to sustain the conversation towards the end result and how the experience was so far, she revealed that positive responses are seen from the church, which is encouraging as they cover more ground.
“It’s a very uncomfortable conversation that we are having with church members but they have been warm to us and we have been getting buy-in from the religious leaders in speaking about these issues and they have been using the pulpit to break the silence on sexual and gender-based violence so they have been accepting us and we have been covering more ground in as much as talking about SGBV and HIV,” she said.