CCJP engages female construction Workers

CCJP engages female construction Workers

Perhaps the biggest threat behind Gender Based Violence (GBV) is the fact that it may occur anywhere, anytime and to anyone. It may occur within our community, the streets and even our work spaces. What’s even more creepy is that the risks for the occurrence of the same may not be completely obliterated. We nevertheless can reduce the chances of it happening. Clearly, the reduction of risks for the occurrence of GBV should be a common responsibility. It should be a widened call.

The GBV Service Provider in the Shire Valley Transformation Program-1, Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace, of the Social Services Directorate for Chikwawa Diocese, has been responding to this urgent call. In one of their interventions, CCJP had a special engagement with female construction workers at Conduril Inghenaria-contractor for the SVTP-1 intake. This interface came with a proactive aim of accelerating sensitization amongst the workers and strengthening existing grievances redress mechanisms. All in all, this was ardent for GBV prevention and mitigation.

Twenty-seven women participated in the session, through which CCJP tackled various forms of GBV that may occur in work places and its probable effects. More attention was also paid on how the workers may report any GBV issues that they experience both within their work place and their respective communities.

CCJP specifically targeted women against the backdrop that they are more vulnerable than their male counterparts. CCJP Child Protection Specialist, Lewis Msiyadungu explains how significant the meeting was;

“Aside raising awareness on various forms of GBV to the workers, we paid a specified emphasis on the need to report related cases. It is mainly after reporting that we, as GBV Service Provide, can investigate and reach out to the survivor and eventually provide the most needed counselling and psychosocial support”

“So we urged the workers to report any cases via our existing suggestion boxes which are placed within the camp or through the Human Resources Officer as well as the workers Union Leaders. We also gave them phone numbers which they may call”

Explained Msiyadungu

Indeed, negligence on reporting GBV is quite a big challenge in the whole fight against GBV. During a previous CCJP engagement with Gender and Child protection network of Chikwawa district, this same bottleneck was cited upon as one big bottleneck in GBV prevention and mitigation efforts

Participants sharing experiences

Speaking on the side-lines of the engagement, Conduril Ingheneria Social Safeguards Specialist, Hannah Mandalasi, reaffirmed the need to empower women.

“The female employee engagement has empowered our women not to tolerate any form of sexual harassment that may happen in our work place. Now, they have phone numbers which they may dial to report cases and are quite aware of existing grievance redress procedures” Explained Mandalasi

Clearly, the engagement session with women was quite a significant intervention. The women even called for regular engagements adding that men should also be engaged separately. On their part, CCJP remains quite adept at minimizing risks for GBV occurrences through a wide range of initiatives, including awareness engagement with communities impacted by SVTP-1