- Says financial dependence of mainly young women on men lies at the heart of GBV
- Calls for a child support grant and an unemployment benefit to stem the dependency syndrome
- Sees fighting GBV without fighting unemployment as a losing battle
The MP for Mahalapye East, Yandani Boko, plans to propose introducing a child support grant and an unemployment benefit as means to combat Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and related social issues.
According to Boko in an interview, he will table a motion in Parliament in three weeks to that end, saying this arose from his concern that cases of GBV are rising. “The country seems to be fighting a losing battle against GBV cases,” he said.
“What is more disturbing is that Botswana does not have a specific budget for fighting GBV despite this being a serious cause for concern. I believe introducing an unemployment benefit and a child support grant could help a lot in combating this social ill.” Money
Boko emphasised his belief that the scourge GBV revolves around money, with the victims usually reflecting a dependency syndrome on perpetrators.
“The victims, who are mostly women, are usually on the receiving end because they depend on the perpetrators financially,” he asserted. “In many instances, they do not want to bite the hand that feeds them. That is why women who report GBV cases to police and later withdraw them.
“Another clear example is the high HIV prevalence in mining towns where dependence of financially stable men is pronounced. So if we had a budget for GBV, this dependence on other people would end and accordingly hopefully the extent of the violence.”
GBV and unemployment
Boko said fighting GBV must go hand in hand with fighting unemployment. which is rampant among the youth and mostly young women.
“Once we improve the lives of these people, GBV will also decline because there will be no dependence on other people for financial support,” he said and expressed the hope that the House will support his motion.
Meanwhile, according to the website of the United Nations Population Fund (UNPF), over 67 percent of Botswana women have experienced abuse, which is over double the global average.
Culture of silence and normalisation
The UN agency says while GBV undermines the health, dignity, security and autonomy of its victims, it remains shrouded in a culture of silence and normalisation.
UNPF says victims of violence, the majority of whom are women and girls, can suffer sexual and reproductive health consequences, including forced pregnancies, HIV and death.