A delegation from Parliament has welcomed the proposal of a report proposing the development of a model law on gender-based violence against women and girls.
According to Parliament's spokesperson, Moloto Mothapo, the delegation attended the 46 th Plenary Assembly session of the Southern African Development Community Parliamentary Forum(SADC-PF) which adopted the report.
Presenting the report on Sunday, Vice-Chairperson of the Regional Women's Parliamentary Caucus (RWPC) of the SADC-PF who was a delegate, said: "The envisioned SADC Model Law on Gender-based Violence should provide for innovative preventative interventions to address the structural and underlying causes and risk factors related to Gender-Based Violence relevant to the SADC Region."
Siviwe Gwarube, who was also part of the delegation, said the Model Law could go a long way to curb the crisis of gender based violence, but addressing it required behavioural change.
"Women are not killing themselves - they are being abused by perpetrators who live, work and walk among us. A model law will send a strong message, but a stronger message will be sent by leaders who lead by example," said Gwarube.
Bilankulu called for a renewed focus on the prevention of gender-based violence, in line with the 2013 CSW Resolution 57 on "Elimination and Prevention of All Forms of Violence against Women and Girls", which amongst others, calls on States to address the structural and underlying causes and risk factors to prevent violence against women and girls.
Mothapo said governments and parliaments in the SADC Region have developed and adopted various policy and legislative frameworks to jointly address this abuse that transcends borders, race, culture, and nationalities.
The SADC Regional Gender-Based Violence Strategy 2018 - 2030 is an example of one policy adopted.
- Compiled by Sesona Ngqakamba