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Selina Banda, 56, a gender-based violence (GBV) victim, said she had experienced emotional and verbal abuse at the hands of her husband, a pastor.
Ms Banda, who was married for 33 years and only divorced a week ago, said her husband hounded her from home on several occasions.
She also told Mrs Mugabe and First Lady Dr Christine Kaseba how the abuse resulted in mental illness, which she has since recovered from with help of the Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA).
Mrs Mugabe said it is sad that women continue to experience violence at home although there is massive sensitisation going on about the vice.
She said in Lusaka yesterday when she visited the YWCA that GBV is a challenge experienced not only in Zambia but in Zimbabwe as well.
Mrs Mugabe said men are in the habit of abusing their wives because of Lobola (bride price).
She said women should work hard to become independent and reduce dependence on their husbands.
"It is surprising that we continue to hear of GBV at a time like this when we expect people to be enlightened. What is happening here is no different from what is going on in Zimbabwe, where women and children continue to suffer in silence," she said.
Mrs Mugabe urged men to support the fight against gender-based violence for better results.
She said there is need for concerted efforts to reduce the scourge and that although the vice cannot be completely eliminated, it is important for people who experience it to have a safe place to go.
And YWCA national president Lucy Lungu said the association deals with up to 800,000 gender-based crimes every year.
Ms Lungu said the abuses include wife battering, rape and defilement.
She said to check the vice, it is important to stiffen the law and disallow bail for offenders.
Earlier, Mrs Mugabe and Dr Kaseba toured the female cancer ward at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH).
The first ladies also had a familiarisation tour of the Cancer Diseases Hospital in Lusaka where Mrs Mugabe said she was impressed with the work that government was doing to provide health services.
Later, the two visited the SOS children's village where Mrs Mugabe donated an assortment of items.
Source: Zambia Daily Mail
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