In Botswana, violence against women is a very relatable issue which includes offences such as rape, domestic violence and defilement of girls under the age of 16 years, incest and femicides. To bring more awareness and contribute to the elimination of violence against women, Population Services International (PSI) Botswana on Friday launched a book, entitled ‘Enuff is Enuff: STOP the abuse of women and girls’.
With this book, and conceding that the topic is a key area of health communication which has been neglected for too long, PSI hopes to deliver information on gender based violence and skills to girls and boys of ages between 14 and 18 years.
The booklet delivers positive messages on women and girl related issues that are aimed at educating not just the target audience but society at large. Topics covered include the definition of abuse and all its forms, domestic violence, rape, sexual harassment and women’s rights as human right. This booklet implores young people to take action against all forms of abuse and gives information on what to do when one is abused as well as where to get help.
“This booklet addresses the issues directly. What I like most about it is that it is honest and frank. This shows us as women that it is time to call a spade a spade,” said women rights activist, Ntombi Setshwaelo, who was the guest speaker at the launch. She said there are certain cultural traits contributing to abuse. “These are things that need to be dropped. We as women need to know where to draw the line.”
Setshwaelo said that the booklet is gratifying because it addresses harsh issues that are not much talked about. She urged people not to always blame the government for failure to implement some of the changes, saying the problems emanate from our traditional way of life which has fallen apart. Nowadays, she said, our children live on television and we are not united in values.
She urged mothers to teach the young ones “because bringing up a child is bringing up a mind.”
“We made our children what they are today,” she said, urging men to base their manhood on love. “Let’s be better parents, better partners and show better power of understanding.”
This book is a product of the ‘Choose a Life Program’, which is one of the health communication programs offered by PSI/B. It is an initiative between PSI/B and Soul City and is part of a bigger program being rolled out in eight SADC countries, namely Lesotho, Swaziland, Namibia, Mozambique, Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
Soul City, an internationally recognized South African-based NGO, uses its power of mass media to reach 80 percent of the South African population in order to affect social and behavior change. For the past 10 years, interest in Soul City extended beyond the South African border and numerous requests from numerous other NGOs, governments, donor agencies and public broadcasters flooded in. This led to the material being adapted for use in other countries as well.
The booklet so far has a print run of 400 000 copies and will be distributed freely to all secondary schools, public and private, and youth centers around the country.