March Against Gender Based Violence
Gender-based violence is a human rights abuse that affects millions of people around the globe.
This INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY we want to highlight the work being done with our partners in Eswatini to end gender based violence in their communities.
In Eswatini approximately 1 in 3 girls experience some form of sexual abuse by age 18 years and 48% of women have experienced some form of sexual violence in their lifetime.
Our partners are working throughout their communities to educate men, women and young people in order to bring about lasting change.
Nationally, Eswatini’s King passed the Act against Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence in 2018 with an aim to eradicate gender based violence. The Act aims to reduce the percentage of women that experience violence from 79% to 30% by 2022 and the percentage of children that experience violence from 59% to 20%.
As part of Team Hope’s project, our partners have trained 419 men and women in their local communities, empowering them to change attitudes towards gender equality.
Following the training in the Lumombo region, the communities gathered for a march against gender based violence. The march included local leaders, church leaders, community members, civil society organisations and police officers.
The community are a great example of the #ChooseToChallenge theme of this year’s International Women’s Day, choosing to stand up and speak out about injustice in their area, inspiring change.
Reports of gender based violence increased nationwide in Eswatini during COVID19 lockdown but the numbers were much lower in the areas where our training has taken place. Our partners are committed to continuing this work and seeing these numbers drop more and more.
Phase 2 of the project will be to recruit men and women who will work as agents of change in their communities.
Read more about our work in these communities in Eswatini here.