(L-R) Brenno Kliger-Diaz, Managing Director – KBL, Phemelo Maiketso, Deputy Director – Department of Gender Affairs, Margunn Indreboe Alshaikh, Deputy Resident Representative ; Photo_ UNDP/Lebogang Tlhaloso

Late last year the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in collaboration with the Government of Botswana through the Ministry of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs (MNIG) and Kgalagadi Breweries Limited (KBL) launched the tripartite gender based violence (GBV) prevention campaign to commemorate the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence on the 25th of November 2020 in Gaborone. Botswana has the 2nd highest rates of rape per capita in the world and the Botswana Police record an average of 6 rape cases per day.

When giving remarks at the occasion the UNDP Deputy Resident Representative, Ms. Margunn Indreboe Alshaikh said the campaign aims to inspire everyone to take action and commit to ending GBV in Botswana, and to provide critical information to victims seeking help.

Margunn Indreboe Alshaikh, Deputy Resident Representative ; Photo_ UNDP/Lebogang Tlhaloso

“GBV is affecting every neighbourhood, every workplace, every family, even those of us here today. Not just as victims, but as perpetrators of the violence. These acts of violence, hidden and silenced, are committed by people, colleagues, friends and family members whom we interact with every day”, Margunn highlighted. “We all have to play our part”, she continued, noting that it is time we focus on prevention, and act to address the root causes of this violence, identifying the behaviours and mindsets that need to change.

To do this, the conversations on preventing GBV must take place in the spaces where people are already talking and interacting with each other. Therefore, UNDP partnered with the Ministry of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs and Kgalagadi Breweries Limited to to launch a campaign across more than 2000 liquor outlets and bars to rally people around the prevention of GBV and remind consumers of their responsibility to act responsibly and take a stance against GBV in their communities.

Liquor outlets and bars operators have since placed GBV themed posters and social distancing floor stickers in their business facilities. Mr Destiny Bulikwe, one of the operators in Gaborone thanked the tripartite for initiating the campaign and explained that the floor stickers in his business engaged customers in conversations around GBV while they waited their turn to buy. He said that since the Government suspended the sale of alcohol in the country as of 3 January 2021 he has resolved to extend his liquor outlet facility and pleaded for more branded stickers to cater for the expansion.

Ms. Kabonolo Loeto who also sells alcohol in Gaborone said she placed the posters strategically in her liquor outlet for customers to see and read. “The posters provide very useful information to my customers such as Botswana Police Service’s GBV helpline which can be reached any time to save the victims of GBV”, explained Kabonolo.

This campaign entails engaging everyone to take a stand against GBV through their everyday actions and conversations. Only by realising that ending GBV is everyone’s responsibility and a whole-of-society problem, can we jointly, and through partnerships such as this, prevent GBV from happening at all.

 The campaign materials are installed in KBL mainstream outlets, i.e. bars and bottle stores, nationwide. It runs in parallel with a campaign to encourage alcohol consumers about responsible drinking and promoting good health and (mental) wellbeing of its consumers and gender equality, as per the UN Sustainable Development Goals 3 and 5, adopted by the brewery.

UNDP looks forward to expanding its support and strengthen its partnerships with the Government of Botswana, private sector and civil society as key actors in the fight against GBV in Botswana.

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