Minister of Gender and Youth, Sports and Recreation Likeleli Tampane indicated that more than 50 women and children died this year as a result of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) exacerbated by close family members-partners and parents.
Tampane said this during a national commemoration of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence held at Mphaki Quthing under the theme: Counter domestic violence and enhance family wellbeing; how do you prepare for inheritance?â€
She urged men to be better partners and continue their God-given call to protect and love their spouses, partners and children rather than be the ones inflicting pain on them and even killing them.
â€œOn the 16 days of activism against GBV we plead with males to stop propelling but take their responsibility to join the fight against GBV. We are saying enough is enough. We also plead with women as well as other people who see acts of violence to report the cases so that victims can get all the necessary help,â€ she said.
She stated that her Ministry has a place to accommodate victims of violence and provide them with all the help they need.
Meanwhile, Quthing was named as the countryâ€™s problem child district in the occurrences of gender-based violence (GBV) cases, particularly the Mphaki and Sixondo communities.
This was said by Katleho Mafube a member of the Lesotho Correctional Services (LCS) Quthing, who indicated that a lionâ€™s share of all inmates at the Quthing correctional facility have been convicted of GBV related offenses.
â€œOur prison has 78 men mostly convicted with GBV offences and most of them are from the Communities of Mphaki and Sixondo. 25 of the 78 men were convicted of sexual offenses,â€ he said.
Mafube indicated that when most of the males are sentenced to prison that means their families are left vulnerable and susceptible to further acts of GBV by perpetrators who take advantage of their absence. This is further exacerbated by the cultural backgrounds of the perpetrators.
â€œMost of GBV perpetrators especially men, think their acts are normal, because their cultural believes and norms mostly are the contributing factors to how they view GBV,â€ he said.
The event was facilitated by the Ministry of Gender, Youth, Sports and Recreation with the support of BAM Group Foundation, Gender Links, Habitat for Humanity, Catholic Commission for Peace and Justice, Motloli and Associates, Woman and Law in Southern Africa (WILSA), SHEHIVE, Lesotho Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) and Lesotho Council of Non-Governmental Organisations.
Country Representative of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Dr. Marc Derveeuw indicated that UNFPA and United Nations (UN) at large remain committed to supporting the Government of Lesotho in its efforts to eradicate gender based violence and harmful practices. He said as it stands out today across the world, women and girls experience beatings, rape, female mutilation, sexual harassment, trafficking and even murder.
â€œWhat is even more shocking is that much of the violence is done by intimate partners and family members, hence our efforts to address domestic violence,â€ Dr. Derveeuw said.