This article was originally written for the Sunday Standard
By Ruth Kedikilwe
The fight for gender equality continued yesterday when a team from Sonke Gender Justice, MenEngage Africa and Men & Boys For Gender Equality took on the faith-based leaders on a workshop to enhance the gender transformation movement.
Bafana Khumalo of Sonke Gender Justice in an interview with the Sunday Standard explained that faith-based leaders are important and respected members of society thus their word against gender based violence is as good as gold. Khumalo went on to state that the majority of the key leaders are male and with them preaching against gender based violence they are more likely to cause the mindset change that is required to end GBV.
An inter-denomination Chapter for Botswana was established and an interim working committee was selected to get the ball in motion for the message to spread across the country.
Having worked in almost 22 African countries Khumalo stated that it was worthy to note that the Botswana leaders came across as progressive and keen on putting in the work to make a change. He was happy with the turnout primarily because the attendants were women representing the various churches.
What the organization is aiming at is to provide safe spaces for victims and survivors by the faith-based leaders, they need someone to listen and understand their situation and it helps that people of the clergy undergo pastoral care and training support to deal with trauma. They hope to in the near future establish community action teams to sort out all the logistics across the country.