The Deputy Minister of Gender Equality and Child Welfare, Lucia Witbooi, has appealed to the nation to join the fight against gender-based violence (GBV), saying government alone cannot win the battle against this social evil that prevails across the country.
Witbooi made the request last Thursday in Gibeon at a community meeting on GBV.
“Considering the magnitude of the problem, the government alone cannot deal with it. There are many role players such as religious leaders, community leaders, business people, and community members who can play a vital role in combatting violence in homes, schools and communities,” stated Witbooi.
Witbooi visited schools in Gibeon as well as the community as part of the early celebration of the Day of African Child, which was attended by the ombudsman John Walters, as well as church and community leaders.
The visit was part of the gender-based violence awareness programme that she initiated, together with the ombudsman, while she was still a parliamentary beckbencher.
“I visited one of the senior secondary schools on Thursday morning addressing school kids on gender-based violence and in the evening I had a programme with the community on leaders moving back to the teaching of strong moral values, respect for human life and to remind mankind of the over-arching Christian principle. Then on Friday we closed up with the two primary schools, addressing them on African Child Day and mainly focusing on early marriages,” elaborated the deputy minister.
She noted that there has been an upsurge in GBV and that violence against children results in serious social, health and human rights problems that require urgent corrective action.