ZNMN Concerned with Increasing Number of Suicide Cases Among Men

Press release by the Zambia National Men’s Network (ZNMN), a partner organization of the Kota Alliance

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The Zambia National Men’s Network (ZNMN) is deeply concerned with the high number of men committing suicides in the country. Within a space of two weeks, two male police officers have taken their lives in disturbing and tragic circumstances. The case of a police officer who shot himself with an AK47 rifle after killing two people and wounding two others in Lusaka’s Mtendere Compound in anger over a relationship that had soured with his girlfriend, and the latest case of another police officer in Namwala district who took his own life while on duty are a huge concern to us an organisation that positive masculinity. The two incidences shows that there is a serious challenge among men to deal with their psychological problems.  

Last year alone 50 men committed suicide in Eastern Province while several other cases of men taking their lives remain unreported. The increasing cases of men taking their lives need serious interrogation to determine appropriate intervention for men’s emotional support at all levels.

As men‘s organization that works for the advancement of gender equality, believe that one of the causes of this behavior is that men lack support structures and programmes at various levels to support their psychological needs. It is difficult for men to disclose their emotional challenges because culture expects men to be ‘manly’ whenever they are confronted with serious psychological situations such as disputes in relationships. The end result is that some men become depressed or develop violent behaviors.

ZNMN has noted with concern that some men are going through economic and social problems that are leading to acts of suicides going by the cases that we receive. Other men are suffering silently in relationships and their families but opt to remain quiet for fear of being considered weak thus resorting taking their lives.  

Therefore, ZNMN will step its community safe spaces for men initiative where men and boys receive counseling to help in curbing the increase in suicides among men. Other services to scaled up will include encouraging men to discuss their infertility problems amongst themselves, which in many cases lead to marital problems such as gender based violence and divorces.

ZNMN would like to urge all stakeholders to support the safe spaces for men that will offer conducive environment for men to interact together and find solutions to some of the challenges they are facing as well as enhance men’s participation in sexual and reproductive health programmes and gender equality and equity.

In line with the vision 2030 theme which states that Leave No One Behind, we urge Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), cooperating partners and government not to leave men behind in initiating structures and programmes that will reduce cases of suicides make the country safe for all.

Contact information:
ZNMN National Coordinator
Nelson Banda - 0979612029

Zambia National Men’s Network (ZNMN) is a Zambian group of men dedicated in combating issues that are affecting women in their society. The main objectives of ZNMN are to combat the issue of gender based violence and create awareness of GBV and gender equality in communities across Zambia. The Network is currently based in Lusaka, though their works stretch across the provinces of Zambia.

ECOWAS Women – New Partner Organization

By Jaana Rehnstrom

ECOWAS is a collaborative organization for economic development among 16 western African states. ECOWAS Women was founded in 2008 and has members from six countries: Ivory Coast, Ghana, Guinea, Nigeria, Liberia and Sierra Leone, and works for the empowerment of women in multiple ways.

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Mouna Moriah Ahmed-Berry is from Liberia, and temporarily in the United States. She came to participate in and host a parallel event at the NGOCSW in New York recently.

Could you describe what your organization does?

ECOWAS WOMEN In Liberia, is a non-profit organization involved in the promotion of programs and ideas that empowers grass-roots women through capacity building; mentor-ship, rehabilitation, talent discovery, various skills training, awareness programmes, health-care service, education, and loan scheme.

The members of each country organization choose which aspect to focus on. For example, in Liberia we are very committed to getting women into politics. Yes they get harassed, but nothing will change unless we do this. All political parties are welcome. We collaborate with the sister groups in the other countries on trainings.

We also invest in agriculture: we own a small plot of land, where we grow cassava. We now need a machine to make it into farina (a kind of flour), which women then sell in the market. We also use this to feed schoolchildren, and have volunteers in the schools.

We also organize microloans to women’s businesses.

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How are you funded?

The organization is independently funded, mostly by $5 monthly donations from members. It also functions through supports of all kinds; and fundraising programs, beauty pageants, art exhibitions, cultural events, fashion shows, workshops, seminars, movie making & promotions, sports activities, agriculture, buying & selling, import & export, and other activities that help generate Funds to carry out its projects.

What do you hope to achieve while in the US and in association with Kota?

I hope to form Partnership with donor Organizations that will help enhance and strengthen the growth, development and ideals of the ECOWAS Women Organization.

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AFPDE - Women’s Association for the Promotion and Endogenous Development - DRC

By Nayara Lima

The AFPDE is an organization based in Democratic Republic of the Congo. Its goals are to recognize the rights of women and children, to protect them and to support them in their rehabilitation from violence.

The headquarters of the AFPDE is located in Uvira, DRC.

The headquarters of the AFPDE is located in Uvira, DRC.

Created by militant women in 1999, AFPDE is committed to recognizing the rights of women and children, protecting them and supporting them in their rehabilitation. Although the country is full of many natural resources, the population (over 60 million inhabitants) lives in a very difficult situation. In fact most of the population has no access to primary health care, drinking water, electricity, a healthy living. The civil servants, military and police are not well paid, leading to molestation, theft, corruption and attack by military and police on the civilian populations to meet their needs. This situation is largely caused by bad governance in the country since independence and also by the various wars that continue to claim victims in the east of the country. These wars cause systematic looting of the property of the population and lead to widespread sexual violence against women and girls. These are rejected by their husbands, families and find themselves abandoned to their fate with serious injuries.

The mission of the AFPDE is to encourage autonomous efforts of women related to the protection and promotion of human rights in general and to improve their social, health and economic circumstances. The choice of activities to be implemented is decided by members of the women’s groups that are supported by AFPDE.

International Women’s Day parade in Uvira on March 8, 2019.

International Women’s Day parade in Uvira on March 8, 2019.

Currently AFPDE conducts its activities over the whole of the South Kivu and in some corners of the three other provinces of the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. The groups have undertaken many different kinds of activities, such as education, nutrition and health programs for orphans and Burundian refugees; literacy and economic empowerment training of women; and water, hygiene and sanitation programs such as building of toilets and distribution of menstrual hygiene supplies, to name just a few. More on the AFPDE programs here.

AFPDE is a partner organization of the Kota Alliance.