Mpopoma women convene to discuss GBV issues.

Women’s Institute for Leadership Development in partnership with Victory Siyanqoba today held a Laundry Cafe at Inyathi Youth Center in Mpopoma under the auspices of the 2020 edition of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence.

The Laundry Café is a symbolic facilitation method aimed at raising and addressing complex issues in a relaxed and familiar manner. The dirty linen brought by participants symbolize the problem of GBV, the washing symbolizes the crafting of solutions while the hanging   of clothes to dry represents the need for the conclusion of GBV cases where victims are rehabilitated and perpetrators apprehended and sentenced.

Speaking during the interactive and joint washing session, participants identified the different causes of gender-based violence.

Some of the problems identified included financial strain caused by the dilapidating effects of COVID 19, toxic masculinity as well as the culture of impunity caused and encouraged by weak enforcement of the law.

The question of whether women retain the right to consent to sexual intercourse within the confines of marriage was raised. This highlighted that some women believe that they still have the right to consent, whilst some still believe they do not. They called for educational meetings to address the issue as it has for so long been ignored.

“Some perpetrators of GBV do not face the full wrath of the law and this encourage more people to violate the rights of their intimate partners,” said one participant who added that stiffer penalties to offenders should be introduced to deter potential offenders.

Participants also discussed actions to take when one is exposed to GBV. Some of the actions identified includes calling of national GBV Hotline, telling religious leaders and also engaging trusted family members

They also called for the involvement of men and youths in such platforms, whilst other women called for all year rounds gender-based violence awareness programs in order to create environments free from violence.



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