Adventist Women Fight Gender Violence

Violence against women and children has become a pandemic in Botswana, says Local Government and Rural Development Assistant Minister Botlogile Tshireletso.

Local gender fighter

Officiating at the Seventh Day Adventist women’s “END IT NOW” campaign in Mahalapye on August 19, she said the plight of people attacked in their homes and subjected to all forms of abuse could therefore not be ignored.

She said the traumatic incidents tarnished the image of the country and disturbed the peace.

Pointing out that the family should be a haven of love and support, Ms Tshireletso said a 1994 World Bank study named “Violence Against Women: the Hidden Health Burden” found that women and girls were at greater risk of violence in their homes than anywhere else.

She therefore applauded Seventh Day Adventist Church women for taking a bold stand against abuse.

The Christian community, she said, must be at the fore as agents of change by taking part in fighting the evils of abuse and gender based violence.

Ms Tshireletso said the Bible was not silent on the issue of abuse and therefore pleaded with the people to have a personal relationship with God who had the ablility to mend characters and broken vessels.

“We must therefore as a matter of urgency fight this evil with spiritual weapons,” she said.

Ms Tshireletso said through counselling and education, boys must be taught to treat women with love.

“They have to realise that God gave them masculinity in order to protect women not to abuse them,” she said.

Ms Tshireletso said it was unfortunate that men in modern society had turned into monsters and even raped the people who looked up to them for protection.

“The perpetrators are cowards, because they lack the courage to plead their case,” she said.

Ms Tshireletso further appealed to the Christian community and the general public to unite and fight all forms of abuse.

She appealed to men abused by women to come out of the closet and seek assistance.

“The truth is, many men live in pain and shame but remain silent about their conditions.”

As a woman and a leader, Ms Tshireletso said she was greatly pained by issues of violence against women and children and therefore was obligated to do all in her power to ensure that the community was well informed to come up with strategies aimed at fighting the abuse.

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