SILVER SPRING, Md. – In Botswana, government officers, police cadets, representatives from non-governmental organizations (NGOs), pastors, and members of the local community marched through the city of Gaborone showing support for enditnow™, a worldwide campaign advocating for the end of violence against women and girls led by the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) and the Women’s Ministries department of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Participants described the event as vibrant, with police cadets setting the pace of the march with singing. Following the march, a special program was held featuring keynote speakers including the Country Representative of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the Director for Women’s Affairs of the Botswana Government, and the Deputy Police Commissioner and Director of Training for the Botswana Police College. Each speaker shared messages of support for the enditnow™ campaign, and applauded the efforts to raise awareness of the destructive issue.
Speaking on the negative impact domestic violence has on society, the Country Representative for UNFPA, Aisha Camara-Drammeh, shared that the “Consequences of it (violence against women) are also multiple to both victims themselves, and their families, communities and societies. Violence against women harms families and communities across generations and reinforces other forms of violence in society. It also impoverishes women, their families, communities and nations.”
Over the last several years Botswana has experienced an increase of homicides between intimate partners, commonly referred to as “passion killings.” This crime has become of national concern, which has led NGO’s and independent researchers to begin uncovering the underlying cause of its alarming rise. According to experts in the field of gender-based violence, violence against women is widespread in Botswana, and may originate from the traditional patriarchal gender role system.
Botswana’s Police College Director of Training, Maloti Gabsitwe, applauded enditnow™ and expressed how the campaign was well-timed when considering the latest statistics of gender-based violence in the country. Ms. Gabsitwe expressed her belief that through the assistance of enditnow™, communities in Botswana can change deep-rooted mindsets and practices that discriminate against women.
Globally, statistics for gender-based violence is on the rise. According to the UNFPA, one in every three women has been subjected to abuse, whether physical, sexual, mental or otherwise, often by a close acquaintance including family members. Furthermore, one in four women have been abused during pregnancy.
Enditnow™ seeks to increase personal awareness, responsibility, and involvement to effectively help end violence against women and girls in families and communities worldwide.
To join the more than 1 million supporters of the enditnow™ cause, click here to sign the online petition on Facebook. Or go to Twitter to receive campaign updates.