Don’t strip women

The practice of stripping women naked by call boys at Kulima Tower bus station in Lusaka has been described as barbaric and uncivil.

Women for Change executive director Lumba Siyanga said her organisation was appalled by the action of call boys who stripped naked, tortured and beat up a young female for purportedly wearing what they deemed as indecent clothing.

She has called on Government to fully implement the Anti-Gender based violence law of 2011 to prevent the continued violation of women’s rights.

Ms Siyanga said in a statement that acts of mob justice were a manifestation of the growing culture of lawlessness which, if left unchecked, could be a threat to the fundamental principles of human rights and the respect of the rule of law.

She said despite Zambia being a signatory to many international and regional protocols such as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the Vienna Declaration of Human Rights, women and girls were not fully protected, leading to the ever increasing gender violence and abuse.

Ms Siyanga said the barbaric stripping and attacking of women purportedly dressed indecently was meant to demean, humiliate, intimidate and instill fear in women so that they could have their freedoms restricted.

She said booing, physical assault and stripping of women and girls was no more than acts of sexual abuse against women which should be condemned by Government and other stakeholders.

“Women for Change condemns in the strongest terms the barbaric conduct of call boys at Kulima Tower bus station who stripped naked, tortured and beat up a young woman for purportedly wearing what they perceived as indecent. Women for Change is deeply appalled by the action by the thugs and this was a violation of fundamental human rights. Such acts of mob justice are a manifestation of the growing lawlessness and threatens the fundamental principles of human rights and the respect of the rule of law,” Ms Siyanga said.

She said her organisation would want to see the quick enactment of the final Draft Constitution through the national referendum to ensure full protection of women and girls’  rights. Ms Siyanga stated that there was urgent need to expand the Bill of Rights in order to outlaw any form of discrimination against women, girls and children. She stated that Women for Change was against phased enactment of the new Constitution because according to her, it would further delay the enjoyment and protection of women and children’s rights.

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