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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

SADC Executive Secretary’s statement on the 16 Days of Activism Against GBV

WE publish below, the statement from the SADC Executive Secreatary H.E. Mr Elias M. Magosi, on the occasion of the 2022 Commemoration of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence. The campaign runs from the 25th November to the 10th of December, 2022 under the theme: UNITE! Activism to End Violence against Women and Girls.

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) once

again joins the international community to add its voice on a

global call against Gender Based Violence (GBV) as it

commemorates 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based

Violence Campaign which runs annually from 25th November to

10th December.

The theme for this year’s 16 Days of Activism campaign, UNITE!

Activism to End Violence against Women and Girls”,

presents us with a unique opportunity to increase awareness,

share knowledge and take concrete actions towards preventing

and eliminating this social-ill through forging a united front and

strong collaboration with all actors.

At the onset, it is imperative to underscore that Gender Based

Violence (GBV), particularly against women and girls, remains

the most widespread and pervasive human rights violation

globally and in our region. GBV poses a serious impediment to

our collective efforts to achieve national and regional

development goals, as it deprives women and girls, who

constitute over half of the population of the SADC region, of their

full potential and full participation in the region’s socio-economic

development. It is for this reason that SADC has placed

elimination of Gender Based Violence among the key priorities

as reflected in the Revised SADC Protocol on Gender and

Development, and the Regional Strategy and Framework of

Action for Addressing GBV (2018-2030), which focuses on

prevention and coordinated regional response to GBV.

We commemorate this year’s 16 Days Campaign against the

background of continued negative impact of COVID 19

pandemic, especially amongst women and girls. As a result of

the COVID-19 pandemic, women have been forced into extreme

poverty and continue to bear the burden of unpaid care and

domestic work, and this thereby further drives the vulnerability of

women and girls to GBV.

As we commemorate this year’s 16 Days of Activism against

Gender Based Violence, we ought to accelerate national and

regional actions to promote the leadership of women and girls

and ensure their meaningful participation in political, policymaking

and decision-making space, including in development

and peace building processes. We must ensure that women and

girls are at the table when decisions that affect them are made,

so that their perspectives are taken into account. Additionally, we

must continue to engage men and boys as key partners in our

society, so that they can play a role in promoting gender equality

and addressing Gender Based Violence.

The multi-dimensional nature of GBV requires proper

coordination, forming effective networks and broad-based

partnerships in order to mount an effective and formidable

national and regional response to GBV. In this regard, we call for

multi-sectoral, coordinated actions involving Governments, civil

society, women’s rights organisations, organisations working

with men and boys, traditional and religious leaders,

development partners, the private sector, media and academia

to step up advocacy efforts and media campaigns, as well as

accelerated implementation of policy frameworks to address

Gender-Based Violence.

We commend the incredible contribution of civil society and

women’s rights organisations across the globe and in our region

for leading from the front, speaking on behalf of women and girls

against unacceptable practices, behaviours and acts that

perpetuate gender based violence.

This year’s 16 Days of Activism should serve as a reminder to all

that everyone has an crucial role to play in addressing the root

causes of GBV, and in ending this social malice. I am convinced

that, with our collective efforts and commitment, we can set the

SADC region on a sustainable path towards ending GBV and

ultimately, achieve the SADC Vision 2050 of a peaceful,

inclusive, competitive, middle-to-high income industrialised

region, where all citizens enjoy sustainable economic well-being,

justice, and freedom.

 Thank you!

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