Gender-based violence, which is violence directed against a person as a result of their gender is a serious, yet often neglected human right violation. We cannot talk about gender-based violence without first going back to gender inequality, because gender violence is deeply rooted in gender inequality, which offers the “reality” behind the violence.
This kind of violence can be perpetuated physically, psychologically, sexually or economically on the victims through threats, coercion, liberty deprivation whether in public or within the four corners of our private homes.
Although from the definition, both men and women can be victims of gender-based violence, in reality, women are mostly at the receiving end of the violence. It is, therefore, not strange to know that the term “violence against women” is often used to describe gender-based violence. In Africa, where culture and tradition often segregate and relegate women to a second-class citizen position, African women have become increasingly victims of gender-based violence, which is systematically legitimized in the continent. That reality gives men the “right” to exercise their power, dominance and control over women. This leads to an imbalanced relationship between male and female.
The developmental benchmark of any country is measured by the position of women in that country. In most cases, gender-based violence leads to low economic productivity. Tackling gender-based violence must be an uncompromising task of every progressive and responsible government because gender-based violence constitutes a human rights violation, as well as a blatant form of gender-based discrimination.
Since most of the gender-violence is rooted in our culture and tradition, efforts must be directed to preventing any form of domestic violence against women. Traditions are man-made, as such, they can be modified to suit the present reality. Apart from discouraging domestic violence against women, governments much back the initiative up, by making laws to seriously punish gender-based violence offenders. Law enforcement agents must be empowered and encouraged to enforce anti-gender-based violence laws.
It is by discouraging gender-based violence and seriously punishing the perpetrators of such an evil act, that the government can positively change the social cognition and the mindset of the people as well as the attitude that encourages the violence.
The Kata Kata Village has decided to make gender-based violence one of its 2020 priorities. Come and join the campaign. Let us head to the village square and be part of the Kata Kata Village anti-gender-based violence campaign. Come on, let’s go!
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