ZOMBO. Married men and women from the three villages of Jupumocho Pambu, Oryewu and Owenje in Chana parish, Paidha sub-county in Zombo district have unanimously resolved to jointly take the decision over their family affairs in order to minimize instances of domestic violence.

The prevailing and unrefined local culture that is synonymous with other African cultures dictates over a woman to single-handedly manage domestic work as the man solely takes major family decisions as the self-proclaimed family head.

But the women during a dialogue organized by the Community Empowerment for Rural Development (CEFORD) asked their husbands to give them an enabling environment for joint decision making on their family affairs.

The dialogue held on Saturday at Jupumocho primary school was aimed at causing attitude change among the locals who are embroiled in domestic violence and other forms of gender-based violence.

During the meeting, Ms Josephine Ayenya, a mother of 6 said she has not been part of decision making in her family because her husband considers her and the children as his juniors who are only to abide by whatever decision and idea he generates.

“What is happening to me is a reflection of what is happening to several women in their homes but have remained silent for fear of being scolded,” Ayenya said.

She commended CEFORD for organizing such a dialogue and specifically choosing their parish which is marred by unreported cases of gender-based violence.

Ms Jerose Anena, a resident of Oryewu village said the centre of contention in most homes include among others; unwillingness by men to join them in manual work and domestic chores, irresponsible consumption of alcohol, assault, and poverty.

“Here you will find women are digging alone and single-handedly raising children while the men get to the roadside as early as possible to gamble out their lives”, Anena said.

Mr Kazmiri Owonda, the chairman Jupumocho Pambu village applauded the women for courageously speaking out their mind and said the area local council is soon coming up with a by-law that will deal with irresponsible behaviours in the area.

“It is true women are suffering in this village but sometimes, it is because they do not report to the responsible authorities like the local council, sub-county officials and the child and family protection unit at the police when things become worse”, he said.

Owonda noted that in the month of June alone, his office successfully handled 6 cases of domestic violence of which the men pleaded guilty and asked for pardon.

Ms Edna Abiko, the evaluation and monitoring officer at CEFORD said it was high time the men rose up to support their women in all ways because it is through such collaboration that they will be able to develop their families and raise up responsible children.

“These women are also human beings; they carry the burden in most homes and bear the pains of maltreatment by men and today, we want this to stop because we all need respect and appreciation for our struggles,” Abiko said.

At the end of the engagement, both men and women made a commitment to equally get involved in the affairs of their families without discrimination.