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2000 Men March for the “I Care About Her!” Campaign

June 11th, 2014 by Posted in English, Women's rights, Zambia

Misozi Tembo: Media and Communications Coordinator, Zambia

For the “I Care About Her!” Campaign, a 2000 Men March was organised for 23 November 2013 because we (Oxfam and partners) expected this number of fathers, uncles, brothers, husbands, national leaders- traditional power holders in Zambia to participate. Interestingly, we got more than 2000 with Lusaka coming in at 1800, Rufunsa at 388 and Choma at 500. This march served as a platform for good men to come out and publicly declare that they care about women in their lives and are committed to stopping violence against women.

 Men joining the march to publicly declare their stance

Men joining the march to publicly declare their stance

On the morning of 23 November 2013, one thousand eight hundred (1800) men marched through Chawama Compound, a high residential area south of Lusaka. Over 400 Zambia Police Officers, Area MP and now Defence Minister Hon. Edgar Lungu, Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Gender Hon. Sikazwe, Inspector General of the Zambia Police Stella Libongani and local media also joined the march.

 Daughters, mothers, wives joined their brothers, fathers  and husbands during the I Care About Her! 2000 Men March

Daughters, mothers, wives joined their brothers, fathers and husbands during the I Care About Her! 2000 Men March

The atmosphere was electrifying with the music from the Zambia Police Brass band serving as a call to the people of Chawama. Men, women, young people and traders all rushed out of their homes and shops to join the 2000 Men March to Chawama Grounds. Addressing the community, Hon. Edger Lungu urged the men present to take an active role in stopping violence against women and girls. He said, “when this type of violence is happening in our communities, we often look the other way saying that this is none of my business after all, I look after my wife. Yes, look after your wife but also cross the boundary and see how your neighbour is treating his wife. If he is inflicting harm on his wife, befriend him since he is a man like you and teach him to stop being violent”.

 Defence Minister Hon. Edgar Lungu addressing the men at Chawama Grounds

Defence Minister Hon. Edgar Lungu addressing the men at Chawama Grounds

Zambia Police IG, Ms. Stella Libongani said, “It is important for us as men and women in uniform to be here because we want to send a strong message to the community that they should work with us in preventing gender based violence and hold us accountable in ensuring that the rights of women are observed”.

 Zambia Police Service I Care About Her! Champions during the 2000 Men March

Zambia Police Service I Care About Her! Champions during the 2000 Men March

Following the march, it was then befitting for fifty police officers to be trained as champions of the “I Care About Her!” campaign in March and April 2014. Officers in charge from all over the country gathered in Lusaka to participate in the training. As a campaign our aim is to have an I Care About Her! Champion at each police station in Zambia who will not only attend to gender based violence cases but also educate fellow police officers as well as the community on women’s rights.

  1. One Response to “2000 Men March for the “I Care About Her!” Campaign”

  2. By Cilli on Jun 11, 2014

    Who is Oxfam to label men “good”(or not, by implication) in this blog? Violence against women is intimate. What men do when they march down a street with placards that seem to have been made for them has little relationship to what they do at home or in thier private interactions with women. Lets not focus on the “show” but on the reality please.

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