from ODIRILE TOTENG in Gaborone, Botswana
GABORONE, (CAJ News) – THE Southern African Development Community (SADC) has commended efforts and commitment by member states to eliminate gender-based violence (GBV).
Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax, Executive Secretary of SADC, lauded the countries as the bloc commenced the global 16 Days of Activism Against GBV campaign.
It runs from November 25.
Tax encouraged member states to continue implementing concrete measures to combat the social problem.
The national campaigns against GBV, development of sex-offender registers, and capacity building initiatives for law enforcement agencies are some of the initiatives that she said were highly commendable.
“It is imperative that these measures are strengthened, especially in light of the increase in cases of GBV that were compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
This year’s theme of the 16 Days is “Orange the World: Fund, Respond, Prevent and Collect.”
This is seen as pertinent as it highlights calls for a comprehensive multi-dimensional global response to GBV, especially in view of the worsening socio-economic conditions compounded by the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic.
“SADC recognises GBV as a serious concern due to its multi-dimensional effects, and has adopted regional frameworks with the aim of tackling the phenomenon in a coordinated manner,” Tax said.
The SADC Protocol on Gender and Development promotes the empowerment of women as an approach to eliminate GBV and discrimination, and achieve gender equality and equity.
Member states recently adopted the Regional Strategy and Framework of Action on Addressing GBV.
The SADC Secretariat is facilitating and coordinating the development and implementation of harmonised actions to eliminate GBV in the region.
SADC member states comprise Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
– CAJ News