Voice for Gender based Violence

Voice for Gender based Violence

Date: June 29, 2015
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I consider myself to be a face and a voice for gender based violence because I have experienced gender-based violence. My personal experiences help me to relate to the underlying societal and personal values that are allowing and condoning gender based violence. I always share my personal experiences, so that women are comfortable opening up to me. I am able to listen to women experiencing gender based violence and understand their needs support and compassion. Knowledge of my experience makes it easier for the victims to share their sense of helplessness, desperation and fear. A young girl of 24 years, who is HIV positive, was referred to me by a friend. She is also an orphan, without the support of her parents. She was married under the Hindu law which does not allow for divorce. At the time she contacted me, she had a seven year old child. If a woman is diagnosed with any chronic disease, like HIV, under Hindu law, her husband can move her out of the home and into a shelter built at the back of the house. This allows him to marry a second wife, who takes her place in the home. This young girl experienced physical and emotional abuse at the hands of her husband. My first step was to remove her from the husband ’s house to stay with her older sister in Mochudi. Then, I took her to the police to gain protection from her husband for herself and her child. I referred her to a social worker for emotional support, food basket and school uniforms for her child so she could go to school. This is an example of advocating for women and children who are HIV positive. Part of this process is also teaching young women to understand their rights under the constitution and how to advocate for themselves. This will become an example for my latest programme, Women Calling for Change ”, a programme which will train village women on how to advocate for change

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