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Musasa Project

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The Musasa Project is a Zimbabwean non-governmental organisation (NGO) that works to challenge cultural values and community attitudes that condone and justify violence against women. The Musasa Project provides shelter as well as legal and counselling services to women and also creates awareness about domestic violence and its effects on the social and economic development of Zimbabwe.
Communication Strategies: 

The main objectives of the organisation are to:

  • Alleviate the suffering of women survivors of domestic violence and their children where necessary through counselling, sheltering, legal advice, and referrals to appropriate organisations.
  • Create an environment free from domestic violence where women are able to fully participate in development.
  • Network with organisations and institutions interested in the elimination of violence against women.
  • Lobby for change in attitudes, laws, and policies that perpetrate domestic violence.
  • Gather imperial data on issues related to domestic violence to be used as a basis to guide organisational activities and for dissemination at a local, national, regional, and international level.

Some of Musasa's strategies and activities to prevent gender-based Violence (GBV) include:

  • Information dissemination on gender-based violence, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and HIV/AIDS.
  • Empowerment programmes for women to equip them with negotiating skills.
  • Gender sensitive training for community representatives and service providers on handling gender violence and HIV.
  • Stepping stones peer group training aimed at improving relations of both sexes to promote changes in behaviours and attitudes about gender violence and HIV.
  • Engaging in a multi-sectoral approach involving other organisations that deal with aspects that have a bearing on gender violence and HIV e.g. economic empowerment and human rights.

To create awareness of gender-based violence and to change prevailing social attitudes, Musasa stages annual media campaigns, conducts radio discussions, participates in local agricultural shows, and sponsors many other activities. The organisation has broadcast two television series that featured personal testimonials from survivors of violence as well as debates on society's views of domestic violence.

Musasa also offers free drop-in counselling and legal advice to women who are experiencing violence. Musasa advisors help women with inheritance and maintenance problems and counsel the survivors of rape and incest.

Development Issues: 

Gender, Women, Rights, and Children.

Key Points: 

According to Musasa, these are some of the key lessons they have learnt:

  • Greater involvement of communities in strategies and initiatives to end gender violence is key to programme success.
  • There is need to move beyond awareness raising to attitude and behavioural change for men who are the predominant perpetrators of violence. This will assist in challenging social attitudes that condone domestic violence and develop preventive strategies at community level that ensure support for survivors.
  • Religion plays an integral role in shifting attitudes and improving the status of women socially as some religious practices by certain churches are known to oppress women.
  • Domestic violence sensitisation of religious institutions is seen as critical and can act as a deterrent for perpetrators who might fear that the abuse of the family will be discovered and that the community might ostracise the perpetrator.
  • Silence from the traditional and religious sector, which are considered important in the lives of ordinary women and men, can be seen as condoning abuse and allows the cycle of violence to continue.
Partner Text: 

Gender-Based Prevention Network

Contact Information: 
Source: 

Reproductive Health Outlook website on November 8 2004 and Prevent Gender Based Violence Africa website on October 21 2009.

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