LETTER: More needs to be done at the national level to address gender-based violence

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Dear Editor:

Over the past week many highly-charged conversations and articles as well as social action have been rooted in denunciations of misogyny and sexism culminating as a result of increased reports of abuse and in some cases resulting in murder of women. Yet, in the midst of the outcry, we have unintentionally diverted the nation’s attention from the tragedy of violence against women.

Notwithstanding all that has been said, the Youth For Change (YFC) deplores what continues to occur and believes such heinous crimes provide the catalyst for a deeper discourse on women’s rights and violence against women.  Discussions at a national level have been intermittent at best, whilst popular culture has encouraged disrespect to women in a society where such matters are too often covered up, unnoticed or ignored.

Much has already been said about the response, the nature and scope of the reaction (locally) to the pronouncement signals not only an awareness of the danger of this viral social trend but also a readiness to take action to save the society from its persistence. In order to move towards transforming our current laissez- faire approach to women’s rights into one of full respect for women, we must seek to understand and make known the extent of the problem and treat with the root causes of the proliferation of an ideology that holds a woman responsible for being a victim of violence.  It is the same ideology that permits men and boys to make unwanted comments to women, on the verge of sexual harassment.

YFC recommends that more be done at a national level through offering programmes in community centres, schools and workplaces to sensitize citizens about gender-based violence. Much more needs to be done in educating our boys and men to respect humanity with regard to women.  Both men and women need to be involved in encouraging an institutional configuration that purposefully and systematically addresses the problem of gender-based violence and disrespect.

YFC through its chapters will continue to make itself available to assist and provide support to find lasting solutions to a recurring problem as we stand in solidarity with other NGOs and organizations in the bid to eradicate violence against women.

 

Youth for Change (YFC)

 

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