II. Key Recommendations to the Government of Zambia and Zambia National Assembly

To the President of the Republic of Zambia

  • Publicly denounce gender-based abuses, including gender-based violence, property grabbing, and unequal distribution of marital property upon divorce, and emphasize the harmful effect of these abuses on HIV treatment.
  • Publicly express support for initiatives to redress gender-based abuses.

To the Zambia National Assembly

  • Ensure that as the draft constitution is finalized, provisions on equality before the law regardless of sex, and provisions prohibiting any law, culture, custom, or tradition that undermine the dignity, welfare, interest or status of women or men are retained in the final version.
  • Adopt specific legislation to prevent and remedy sexual and domestic violence. This should include civil and criminal judicial remedies, and the provision of services to survivors.

To the Ministry of Justice and the Gender in Development Division

  • Support efforts to review and transform discriminatory aspects of customary law.

To the Cabinet Committee on AIDS, the National AIDS Council, the Ministry of Health, and the Gender in Development Division

  • Facilitate the establishment and implementation of programs in the healthcare system to address gender-based abuses, as follows:

  • Establish a multi-sectoral taskforce that would study different models for addressing gender-based abuses in health settings (see Appendix II), devise a model that is effective and appropriate for Zambia, pilot it, and implement it in the nine provinces.

  • Integrate initiatives addressing gender-based abuses, especially gender-based violence, into ART and HIV programs.

  • Ensure that HIV treatment adherence counselors integrate screening for and handling of gender-based violence in counseling, establish protocols on detecting and addressing gender-based violence, and provide continuous supervision and support for counselors to assist them in doing so.

  • To the Ministry of Health and the Zambia Counseling Council

    • Ensure that institutions providing training for HIV counselors cover the issues of gender-based violence, lack of legal protection for women’s property rights, and other gender-based abuses and their effect on treatment in training courses.

    To the Ministry of Health

    • Monitor and document the impact of gender-based abuses on ART in on-going research on ART in Zambia. 

    To the Gender in Development Division

    • Lead on the development of a campaign that emphasizes women’s right to decide when, where, and how to seek health services, including access to HIV testing and treatment programs.

    To the Ministry of Home Affairs

    • Ensure the provision of adequate resources and training for the Victim Support Unit (VSU) including vehicles, sexual crime kits, stationery, and appropriate training and supervision for all VSU officers.

    To The Ministry of Community Development and Social Services

    • Establish shelters and other relevant services for survivors of gender-based violence in all provinces, and provide additional funding for existing Young Women’s Christian Association shelters.