Gender-based violence (GBV) is a serious human rights violation that affects millions of people around the world, especially women and girls. GBV refers to any act of violence that is directed at someone because of their gender, such as physical, sexual, psychological or economic abuse. GBV can happen in any setting, such as at home, at school, at work, in public spaces or online. GBV can have devastating consequences for the victims and survivors, such as injuries, illnesses, trauma, stigma, discrimination, poverty and death.
In Lesotho, GBV is a widespread and urgent problem that needs to be addressed by the government and society. According to a survey conducted by Afro barometer in 2022, Basotho see GBV as the most important women’s-rights issue that the government and society must address. The survey also found that 42% of Basotho women and 32% of Basotho men have experienced some form of GBV in their lifetime. However, only 38% of the victims reported the incident to the authorities, indicating a lack of trust and confidence in the justice system and the support services. Moreover, many Basotho still hold harmful attitudes and beliefs that justify or tolerate GBV, such as blaming the victim, accepting violence as a sign of love or a way of discipline, or believing that women are bound to obey their husbands.
As the youth of Lesotho, you have a vital role to play in ending GBV and creating a safer and more equal society for everyone. You are the future leaders, decision-makers, influencers and agents of change in your country. You have the power and the responsibility to challenge and transform the norms and values that enable GBV, and to promote and protect the rights and dignity of all people regardless of their gender. Here are some of the ways you can do this:
– Educate yourself and others about GBV: Learn about the causes, consequences and prevention of GBV from reliable sources, such as human rights organisations, experts or survivors. Share this information with your friends, family, classmates and community members. Raise awareness and speak out against GBV on social media platforms, blogs or podcasts. Join or organise campaigns or events that aim to end GBV, such as marches, rallies or workshops.
– Support the victims and survivors of GBV: If you know someone who has experienced GBV, offer them your empathy, compassion and solidarity. Listen to their story without judging or blaming them. Encourage them to seek help from professional services, such as health care providers, counsellors or legal advisers. Accompany them if they need your support. Respect their choices and privacy. Do not spread rumors or gossip about them.
– Challenge the perpetrators of GBV: If you witness or hear about someone who has committed GBV, do not ignore or condone it. Confront them if it is safe to do so. Report them to the authorities if they have broken the law. Hold them accountable for their actions and demand that they change their behaviour. Do not associate with them if they refuse to respect others’ rights.
– Advocate for change in policies and laws: Demand that your government takes concrete actions to prevent and respond to GBV in Lesotho. Call for the implementation and enforcement of laws that protect the victims and survivors of GBV and punish the perpetrators. Urge for the allocation of adequate resources and funds for the provision of quality services and support for those affected by GBV. Participate in public consultations or petitions that aim to influence policy-making on GBV issues.
– Model positive behaviour and attitudes: Be an example of how to treat others with respect and equality regardless of their gender. Reject any form of violence or discrimination against anyone based on their gender identity, expression or orientation. Celebrate diversity and embrace difference. Support women empowerment and leadership in all spheres of life. Respect consent and boundaries in your intimate relationships.
By taking these actions, you can make a difference in ending GBV in Lesotho and creating a culture of peace and justice for all. Remember that you are not alone in this fight. You can join forces with other like-minded youth who share your vision and values. You can also collaborate with other stakeholders who are working to end GBV in Lesotho, such as civil society organisations, media outlets, religious groups or international agencies.
Together, we can end GBV in Lesotho!
The puzzle has 15 words hidden in a grid of letters. The words are related to the topic of GBV The words are:
Here is the puzzle:
C A M P A I G N Y E R A L W E L S L
R Q A D V O C A T E M M E N W D D
G V L T T S O T S S R I G H T S P
D K Q U E O R D A G P Z N I R O P
R O N O I T S E U Q R D C S Q G F
O O N I T S A W A R E N E S S N K
E E N S E O R O H N S I R O A R S
S U P P O R T E R I E E I U L W P
M T C A J U S T I C E Q U G B J Y
D P R E S P E C T K U O W D T O T
O A L A W S L T U E E K O Q S D J
E C O N S E N T U Y E E T H I T G
N C X S E Q U A L I T Y R S P D C
A V T O M E A C C O U N T A B L E S
Can you find all the words? Good luck!