When people hear the word gender they (sometimes) assume it only refers to a woman. Gender rather, refers to the roles, responsibilities and behaviors that our society expects of both men and women. It is safe to say that most acts of gender based violence are directed towards women and children. GBV does not only affect the individuals who are abused. It also affects children, families, communities and the entire nation at large. In fact, GBV largely slows down the advancement of the Sustainable Development Goal’s (SDGs) in general and particularly goal number five “Gender Equality”.
As long as there is an imbalance of power between men and women, GBV will continue. We must act towards the prevention of GBV to promote safe, peaceful and productive families and communities. This will in turn enable us to achieve Aspiration 6 of Agenda 2063 that focuses on ‘An Africa whose development is people-driven, relying on the potential of African people, especially its women and youth, and caring for children’.
Finally, we must reflect on whether young people are our future leaders or if indeed if they are our current leaders. We believe young people are our current leaders! They are vibrant and passionate about building a better tomorrow not only for themselves but for all including our children. Young people should therefore be provided with opportunities that empower them to do the later.
Stacy Ndungu, Consultant on Gender Based Violence, Arigatou International- End Child Poverty