Central District Council Chairman Ketshwereng Galeragwe had called on Batswana to heed the president of Botswana Mokgweetsi Masisi's plea to fight against the surging cases of gender based violence.
Speaking during Botswana Democratic Party women's wing 16 days of Activism against Violence on women and children commemoration on Wednesday in Serowe, Galeragwe said the sky rocketing cases of GBV especially against women and children is a concern not only to the central district but also the country as whole. "Recently we have witnessed surging numbers of GBV cases especially violent killings of women by men and this is worrying trend which need us as men to start introspecting to get to the bottom of what went wrong and what can be done," he said.
He said it has become fashionable for men these days to threaten women with death whenever there is an argument, no matter how big or small. "There is a tendency to threaten to kill women whenever there is a misunderstanding, this behavior has become a trend amongst men and we should desist from it," he warned.
Therefore, Galeragwe further encouraged men to shun acts of Gender based violence and furthermore encouraged them to report them when they witness them or when they become victims of the violence themselves. He said men are also victims of GBV but they usually choose to keep things bottled up as they rarely report it, something he said can lead to violence. "A man who experience GBV is an angry man, if they fail to report it, this can result in them venting their anger, and the results are usually unfathomable," he said.
Meanwhile, CDC Chairman said it is also important to groom a boy child who can grow into a responsible citizen at an early age through proper teachings. "We have learnt from the previous speaker that a person is not born with any traits of behavior that they latter display in their life, but they rather learn that from the society, they copy what the society does, therefore it is imperative that we groom this boys by showing and teaching them the proper way to be better people." he implored.
Furthermore, he encouraged women to take charge of their lives in order to have influence in shaping their lives, and also play a bigger role in decision makings that affect their welfare. He advised them to fight for any leadership role at government or political level. "I should encourage you as women to learn from the American elections, for the first time they have a woman vice-president elect, so it is up you to start fighting for any position anywhere, against any man and support each other in the process,' he advised.
He however warned that women mostly are their own enemy as they usually choose to sabotage each other by not supporting each other. He warned them that nowadays life is a competition, and they should stop advancing men at their expense.
For her part Botswana Democratic Party women’s wing central region chairperson, Bonno Lesiapeto said the rising numbers of Gender based violence are concerning.
Lesiapeto said it is vital as the ruling party to take charge and have their voices heard the loudest in the fight against GBV.
She said the rising numbers of GBV are disheartening hence why the called the relevant stakeholders that include gender affairs to the commemoration to discuss what is really causing this surge of cases and try to come with the solutions. “At the end of these discussions we want to come up with answers and solutions on the cause of the sky rocketing numbers,” she said.
She said they intend to take these discussions further by visiting different institutions and other villages to spread the message against GBV.
Serowe Gender Affairs department's Peloyame Tladi said this year's 16 days campaign is particularly significant since Gender based violence has been declared a national priority by the President Mokgweetsi Masisi. "The nation finds itself having to respond urgently to the rapid snowballing of cases of physical and sexual assaults recorded almost every week and the UN statistics reveal that 1 in 3 women will either be beaten or raped in their lifetime," she revealed.
Tladi further noted that Botswana had customized the global theme to reflect the situation in the country and will therefore observe the campaign under the theme "unite to End gender based violence."
She said GBV in all its different guises is incompatible with the dignity and worth of human being, and therefore it must be eliminated. "This theme therefore calls upon government, the civil society, men and women, old and young, faith based sector, traditional leadership, private sector, media and development partners in this country to join forces and stand up in their various spheres and communities and take action against gender based violence," she said.
She further challenged the BDP women's wing to reflect and devise strategies on how they are going to combat GBV using structures that already exist within their party and identify agents of change who will work towards achieving a violent free organization.