H Metro

Speak out against GBV


GIRL child rights advocate group, Shamwari Yemwanasik­ana (SYS) has embarked on a nationwide campaign to educate communitie­s against gender-based violence (GBV), child marriages and sexual reproducti­ve health rights.

The campaign will see issues to do with domestic violence being shunned publicly and this is one thing that needs to be encouraged in all communitie­s.

The biggest challenge about domestic violence is that it affects children.

Since the January 5 lockdown, a lot of parents and guardians have been forced to live together for longer in the same lockeddown environmen­t.

With reduced income and increasing stress levels, a lot of disputes occur and sadly, children are now being caught in the crossfire; especially the girl child who is being caught up in the violence.

As SYS says, “Some of these children are being subjected to the violence themselves and end up fleeing from their houses seeking refuge elsewhere or end up on the street.”

The gender-based violence scourge is a worldwide problem.

Society has created this problem since time immemorial and solving it requires the entire human race to have a change of attitude.

The girl child is particular­ly at risk.

We all have a responsibi­lity to fight for the rights of the girl child and to ensure that she does not continue to be a victim of social ills.

There is need to end the suffering, injustices and all sad realities being faced by the girl child – rape being chief among them.

How many children have access to education, health services, food, shelter . . . all their basic necessitie­s?

How many women are enjoying all their rights as human beings?

We should look over the wall and see what our neighbours’ children keep crying over, it could be rape.

Every adult should take it as their responsibi­lity to “Eliminate Harmful Social and Cultural Practices affecting Children” around us and the Government and law enforcemen­t agents should step in and ensure that girls and women are always taken care of.

Every woman must be informed about and protected from rape, GBV and many other forms of violence they are subjected to.

Life is precious and we must do everything to safeguard not just our lives but the life of the next person as well.

Gender based violence comes in many forms and we must do our best to expose it so that policy makers act to bring it to a halt.

The girl child is the biggest victim and - alongside women - must be protected from the harmful effects of gender based violence.

We can do better as a people than to sit and watch our women and children being battered physically, verbally and emotionall­y in our neighbourh­oods.

It is time to speak up.

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