Africa-Press – Eswatini. The entire team of the European Union (EU) Delegation to Eswatini, led by Ambassador Dessislava Choumelova, recently committed the Eswatini Gender-Based Violence (GBV) charter, an initiative that seeks to encourage individuals and institutions to reverse the tragic toll GBV takes on society.
By signing the charter, the EU Ambassador and delegation team committed themselves to zero tolerance for GBV, joining other international development partners, government, civil society and activists in their fight against GBV. In her remarks, Ambassador Choumelova said GBV remained one of the most widespread and persistent violations of the rights of women and girls in the world, sadly alarmingly prevalent in Eswatini, with one in three women and girls in the country having experienced some form of violence by the time they reached the age of 18.
The Ambassador said these alarming statistics called for action, where everyone, – individuals, family, community and institutions – had an active role to play in eliminating GBV in Eswatini. Eliminating GBV is an important pre-condition for the promotion, protection and exercise of human rights, gender equality, democracy and economic growth.
“One of the weapons to eliminate GBV in our societies is to improve awareness and education on gender issues and women empowerment. Nobody should perpetrate, tolerate or condone any form of GBV, violence against women is an act of cowardice and toxic masculinity,” said the Ambassador.
The GBV charter itself provides an opportunity for people who want to play a part in the fight against GBV to move from concern to action by adopting behavior that does not condone any form of GBV and actively act against GBV wherever it occurs. The charter also calls for the effective enforcement of the Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence (SODV) Act.