Zambia: Four arrested for “championing homosexuality”

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03/09/2023

The arrest of four women in Zambia for holding a march against gender-based violence (GBV) that police say was used to “champion homosexuality” has sparked a wave of dangerous homophobic vitriol. The women are members of the NGO Sistah Sistah Foundation which organised the event on the 4th of March at the Rugby Club in the Lusaka Showgrounds. They have been charged with giving false information to public officers while one of the women, Gladys Mwangala Monde, who is the co-founder of the organisation, has also been charged with unlawful assembly. The event, which had prior police approval, was focused on highlighting the scourge of GBV in Zambia. “Sexual/violence against womxn and girls has been so normalised [that] so many people are now desensitised to it. It just feels like another ‘too bad’ story,” said the foundation ahead of the march. “But we march because this should never be the norm. We march to let the victims know we stand with and for them, that they deserve justice…”

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