Gender-based violence (GBV) is a topical issue, and over the past few months, the civil society and other stakeholders have raised their voices to put pressure on government to come up with more effective strategies in the fight (against GBV).
Just recently, the Minister of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs, Anna Mokgethi came under fire after she asked Parliament to defer a motion on GBV brought by Member of Parliament for Mahalapye East, Yandani Boko as urgent.
Boko wanted the house to deliberate on setting up a Presidential Commission of Inquiry on issues of GBV in Botswana. While Mokgethi was requesting for a week to “allow all the ministry [stakeholders] involved to collaborate and prepare for the motion”, her suggestion angered the public so much that she was on the receiving end of protests for quite some time.
The display of public anger is testament that society is sick and tired of the violence that continues to be used on especially women and children. The society wants action now, as evidenced by the anger and displeasure expressed by many people, following Mokgethi’s comments in Parliament.
The minister tried hard to advance her reasons for asking for deferment, but many had only heard her uttering that the motion ‘is not urgent’.
Unfortunately, whether we waste more time castigating the minister
Just a few days ago, the lifeless body of an employee of the National Assembly based at Ntlo Ya Dikgosi, was discovered, with the main suspect being her soon-to-be-husband and fiancé. President Mokgweetsi Masisi on September 18, 2020, made a statement on GBV, and announced that the long awaited Sexual Offenders Bill will be tabled in the next sitting of Parliament in November 2020.
The President also acknowledged that there is need to come-up with robust strategies to root our GBV, which continues to rob members of our society of siblings, daughters/sons, mothers/fathers, uncles and aunties.
The President also called on different stakeholders to become an active part on the fight against GBV. A lot has been said. It is time for us to act and do it now! We cannot continue to lose members of society, some of whom are murdered at a very young age, leaving their minor children without a mother.