Gaborone — There is need to prioritise funding for addressing gender-based violence (GBV), says Minister of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs Ms Annah Mokgethi.
Addressing the media in Gaborone recently, she said there was also need to put in place a concrete response plan, undertake explicit measures to prevent GBV as well as to collect data to inform a targeted response.
"There is need for government to galvanise efforts against GBV scourge, in recognition and acknowledgement that COVID-19 has led to increased levels of violence against women and children," she said.
However, Ms Mokgethi assured Batswana that government would continue to seek better ways towards GBV elimination and prevention.
The minister noted that Botswana had customised the global theme to 'Unite to End Gender Based Violence NOW!' which she said challenged all Batswana to join GBV prevention efforts.
It also called for provision of support to victims and survivors to ensure their full recovery and integration into society, she said.
In addition, the minister said the theme called on all to employ deliberate efforts towards rehabilitation and re-integration of perpetrators, which would contribute to strengthening prevention.
Quoting the 2018 National Relationship Study, Ms Mokgethi said 37 per cent women and 21 per cent men reported experiencing some form of violence at least once in their lifetime.
She said the most common form of GBV experienced was emotional intimate partner violence at 31 per cent on women and seven per cent for men.
She further said 97 per cent men who reported experiencing abuse in childhood also reported perpetrating intimate partner violence.
On violence against children, Ms Mokgethi said the survey indicated that on average, 28.4 per cent female and 43 per cent male children in Botswana experienced physical violence before the age of 18.
The minister said the prevalence of sexual violence prior to age 18 was 9.3 per cent for females and 5.5 per cent for males.
She mentioned that the leading perpetrators of physical violence were parents, adult caregivers or adult relatives, adults in the community and peers.
Meanwhile, the minister has commended Botswana Police Service for plans to establish gender and child friendly centres as well as the Administration of Justice for introducing special courts for GBV cases.
That, she said, should relieve victims and survivors the pain of waiting long periods for their cases to be heard.
About national activities that the ministry would be undertaking in the fight against GBV, she mentioned the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence campaign, to be held under the theme 'Orange the World: Fund, Respond, Prevent and Collect'.The campaign is to be launched in Hukuntsi on Wednesday closing December 10 in Molepolole.
Source : BOPA