The annual global campaign 16 Days of Activism Against Violence On Women And Children, kicked off yesterday with a massive launch by the Ministry of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs.
Botswana has been commemorating the annual campaign without fail, but unfortunately, the campaign does not seem to be accomplishing much, as rape and abuse of women and children (especially the girl-child) seem to be on the rise.
The commemoration undoubtedly is a very good initiative, which does its part on raising awareness on violence against women and children.
But is the 16 days enough? No, because the violence seems to be escalating, and not only that. Even the brutality in which the barbaric acts against women and children are committed. In a very short space of time, we have seen many reports of rape (sadly including minors), murder, and assault, with statistics leaning more towards women and children as the victims. By this, it does not mean anyone is trying to minimise GBV, as it applies to men and the boy-child, but just being realistic based on the number of reported cases. Just last Sunday two men who broke into a family home dragged a little girl into a bush, where they proceeded to rape her before releasing her.
This follows a bout of rape cases perpetrated on innocent young girls by evil scum who in their dirty minds think they deserve to be called men. These monsters continue to terrorise women
An unknown man pounced on an 11-year-old while she was waiting for a taxi at a bus stop and raped her in a nearby bush. There are more cases just as gruesome if not more so.These few examples show that we need to intensify the campaign.
While it is understandable that funds may not be permitting to allow the campaign to run for 365 days, there are cheaper means to ensure that awareness is continuous.
For example, making the campaign part of the school curriculum and using Kgotla meetings to address both men and women on GBV. This year’s theme is relevant as it says ‘Hear Me Too, End Violence Against Women And Children’. It is time for us to come together as the society and make the loudest noise and force each and everyone else to ‘hear us’.