The Botswana Network on Ethics, Law and HIV/AIDS (BONELA) and Sisonke Botswana Organization are gravelly concerned and disappointed by the recent decision by legislators that a National Commission of Inquiry on Gender Based Violence is not necessary. We posit that this decision demonstrates a lack of commitment and political will to address the escalating incidence of Gender Based Violence (GBV) in Botswana. This decision will most certainly enable GBV incidences to rise unabated.
BONELA and Sisonke Botswana Organization are of the view that Parliament’s decision is uninformed and amounts to gross negligence. It is inexcusable that leaders who have been entrusted with the protection of its people can make such a decision. Parliament needs to understand and appreciate that they have a moral and legal obligation to ensure a conducive environment for the promotion, protection and fulfilment of the rights of Batswana through the informed enactment and implementation of laws and policies. In the face of ever-increasing cases of GBV, including that which is perpetrated against minors, in our view, an inter-ministerial committee will not address the problem.
We strongly urge the Parliament of Botswana to reconsider its decision and stress that a National Commission of Inquiry on GBV will afford Government, CSO’s and other stakeholders an opportunity to better understand the pandemic that is GBV, and thus be able to plan, resource and implement informed interventions that will address not just the symptoms but the root cause of the problem.
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