What stumbling blocks exist towards prevention and elimination of Gender Based Violence in your community? Can you come up with sustainable solutions towards mitigating these stumbling blocks and thereby eliminate Gender Based Violence (GBV)?
It is these questions that guided the 22 young leaders from Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, Somalia and South Sudan to identify and provide possible solutions towards the menace of Gender Based Violence in their countries. The youth, who are from the African Children and Youth Network for Human Rights /Réseau des Enfants et Jeunes Africains pour les Droits Humains (REJADH) had gathered for the Action! Seminar in Machakos, Kenya form 14th – 18th November 2019.
In Somalia, the youth advocated for creation of strong structures and institutions to combat the vice, having noted that Gender Based Violence is rife in Somalia due to weak systems that are less accountable to the public. They added that they would raise more awareness on the dangers of Gender Based Violence as the community is less informed. The same sentiment was reiterated by the young leaders from Burundi who exclaimed that there was less awareness on Gender Based Violence in their country. To this end, they proposed; working with religious leaders, policy makers and awareness through the media as ideal ways to break the barriers of unawareness and eliminate Gender Based Violence. Corruption, political instability, caused by poor governance in the Democratic Republic of Congo was established as major hindrances towards eradicating Gender Based Violence. Aware of this unfortunate state of affairs but equal to the task, the youth demonstrated, though a skit how they would fight corruption by first ensuring gender justice at all levels as well as advocate for political stability as a way to provide a fertile ground for ending Gender Based Violence.
Likewise, in Mali, the youth identified corruption as a stumbling block towards creating a society free from Gender Based Violence. They however proposed to rely heavily on technological advancements to report on corruption as well as do advocacy geared towards gender equality. Harmful cultural practices and norms were identified as major hindrances towards prevention and eradication of Gender Based Violence in South Sudan. Aware of this, the youth proposed to do a robust awareness creation campaign mainly targeting rural communities in the country with an aim to make aware that most of such harmful cultural practices perpetuate Gender Based Violence hence the need to stop such practices.
In all the five countries, the youth identified efforts to prevent and end Gender Based Violence; thus confirming that the scourge is rife and needs versatile efforts to eliminate it. One of such efforts being proper proposal writing to policy makers, funding organizations in order to attract resources and policy formulation towards gender issues.