Gender Links, in collaboration with Women’s Affairs Department (WAD) and Botswana Association of Local Authorities (BALA), briefed the media on the activities to be performed during this year for the 16 Days of No Violence Against Women across the globe. This year’s theme is ‘From peace in the home to peace in the world.’
Gender Links country manager, Keabonye Ntsabane, thanked the media for coverage of Gender Based Violence. She said more is to be covered by the local media on issues surrounding gender based violence and added that she is concerned about women who are now committing suicide out of frustrations of being abused.
She further emphasised the abuse of mentally challenged females, who she said encounter abuse unnoticed, as some do not even know how to talk.
Rachel Namutosi-Loeto, Women Affairs Department‘s Senior Gender Officer, said this year’s 16 Days of Activism will be commemorated at Goodhope. She explained that Goodhope, as a village, is also experiencing this gender based violence and added that numerous cases of bullying and abuses have been recorded in this area, which is now the choice of selection as a venue for this year.
“As a Department, we have put in place objectives for the campaign. We are to generate an increased level of awareness amongst Batswana pertaining to the incidence of violence perpetuated against women and children. To challenge the perpetrators of these offences to change their behaviour, we are to also engage men and boys in combating violence and also creating the awareness around the link between HIV/ AIDS and gender based violence,” said Namutosi-Loeto.
Ludo Metshameko of BALA also echoed the same sentiments as Ntsabane, saying there should be more than 16 days of activism, 365 days should rather be emphasised. She explained this on the basis of gender violence not having to rest, as gender violence can happen anytime.
The 16 Days of Activism will commence on November 25 with a series of activities.
Namutosi-Loeto disclosed that, at Goodhope, community leaders will be involved and there will be a talkshow with a mass church service scheduled for the 25 of November during the 16 days of activism.
The media was encouraged to cover news of violence; and media education on matters of gender based violence is scheduled for the 29 of November during the activism period.
During the ‘16 Days’, media are encouraged to be conscious of and participate by covering the 16 Days of Activism to raise awareness to the public.
Gender based violence is a big problem in this country; according to research conducted by Gender Links and Women Affairs Department, about 67.3 percent of women admitted to being abused. Some are said to also be abused during pregnancy while some are raped.