Remarks by Amb. Harry K. Thomas Jr. on visit to Musasa

This is an important visit for me personally and for our Embassy.  March is Women’s History Month and March 8th is International Women’s Day.  This year’s theme, “Be Bold for Change,” calls on individuals and communities to help forge a better and more inclusive gender-equal world. That world simply is not possible where Gender Based Violence is prevalent. One of the primary goals of the U.S. Mission to Zimbabwe is to help end this scourge by empowering women and by educating both men and women about the corrosive effects this violence has on society as a whole. The U.S. Embassy is proud to partner with Musasa in helping those most in need.

We all have a role to play, as individuals and as institutions.  In 2016 Embassy Harare awarded over $200,000 to Musasa with the goal to economically and socially empower women and girls who are survivors of Gender Based Violence. Through the project Musasa directly impacted the lives of over 8,000 women and girls throughout Zimbabwe, with a focus on adolescent girls and young women aged 10-24 years old.

The beneficiaries have received, among other services, financial management and life skills training; emergency cash transfers; youth connection and vocational training; and access to safe spaces and mentoring.  The U.S. funding also enabled Musasa to conduct community discussions for over 1,200 men and adolescent boys in order to underscore the vital role men and boys play in countering Gender Based Violence.

There is never – NEVER – a reason to treat a woman violently.  There is no excuse for doing so, under any circumstance, and it is never about passion or emotion and certainly never about love – it is abuse, it is violence and it cannot be tolerated. We know that there is much more work to be done and we look forward to continuing to work closely with our partners until we can feel confident that all women are safe in their homes, their communities and everywhere in their own countries and around the world.

I thank you.

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