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Children: Victims of Gender Based Violence too

Publishing Date : 05 December, 2017

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Recent event involving children should re-energise our conscience on the reality of real dangers that face our children. At a period when the whole world is observing designated days to mark Gender Based Violence (GBV), as a nation we must zero into this subject and narrow it down per constituency.

Children continue to suffer gender based violence as reflected by recent developments where a child was raped and killed allegedly by a boyfriend to her mother. Furthermore Police continue to record cases of child trafficking as minors are snapped and sent for child labour. We are well aware that there is evidence elsewhere that there are children who are captured against their will and forced into child labour, prostitution, arranged marriages and all these other nasty things being done to children.

It is also no secret that there are children or minors who are denied the right to education by their own parents. They are forced into child labour instead, asked to wake every morning to sell stuff on the streets while their peers are at school. These are all examples of Gender Based Violence, some of which have a hinge on religion. As a society we must reject this abuse of children regardless of how eloquent a parent tries to defend their cruelty.

We should not limit Gender Based Violence only to domestic violence, it is a wide subject. Preventing and responding to gender-based violence should be the cornerstone of the society’s commitment to advancing gender equality. We should not that such violence significantly hinders the ability of individuals to fully participate in and contribute to their families and communities–economically, politically, and socially. Everyone in the society should become a tireless advocate for ending gender-based violence, and the matter should be elevated national priority. The Francistown case demonstrates that children are faced with a lot of risks, and the actions of child trafficking perpetrators seriously jeopardises children’s future.

To demonstrate how broad the subject of gender-based violence should be addressed, he is a definition, it is defined as a violence that is directed at an individual based on his or her biological sex, gender identity, or perceived adherence to socially defined norms of masculinity and femininity. It includes physical, sexual, and psychological abuse; threats; coercion; arbitrary deprivation of liberty; and economic deprivation, whether occurring in public or private life. How many people in our society find themselves fitting in this description – certainly in their thousands, therefore we must deal with these matters case by case.

Gender-based violence takes on many forms and can occur throughout the life cycle. Types of gender-based violence can include female infanticide; child sexual abuse; sex trafficking and forced labour; sexual coercion and abuse; neglect; domestic violence; elder abuse; and harmful traditional practices such as early and forced marriage, “honour” killings, and female genital mutilation/cutting.

Of course women and girls are the most at risk and most affected by gender-based violence. Consequently, the terms “violence against women” and “gender-based violence” are often used interchangeably. However, boys and men can also experience gender-based violence, as can sexual and gender minorities. Regardless of the target, gender-based violence is rooted in structural inequalities between men and women and is characterized by the use and abuse of physical, emotional, or financial power and control.

Regardless of the form that gender-based violence takes, it is a human rights violation or abuse, a public health challenge, and a barrier to civic, social, political, and economic participation. It is associated with many negative consequences, including adverse physical and mental health outcomes, limited access to education, increased costs relating to medical and legal services, lost household productivity, and reduced income.

Gender-based violence undermines not only the safety, dignity, overall health status, and human rights of the millions of individuals who experience it, but also the public health, economic stability, and security of nations.  NGOs, Government, civic leaders, politicians must do more to protect our children. We need more answers from the perpetrators as to who they are working with and where they are taking the children!



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