WINDHOEK, Nov. 25 — It is with immense pleasure that I release this Statement to join the voice of the SADC Parliamentary Forum (SADC-PF) to the UNiTE campaign by commemorating the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence in view of ending same by 2030.
Importantly, the 25th November marks the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and the 10th December marks Human Rights Day, with the 16 days in between marking a unique time for reflection, deliberation, and action on the cross-cutting theme of Gender-Based Violence (GBV). The SADC-PF also applauds the initiative of the UNiTE campaign to proclaim the 25th of each month as the “Orange Day” in order to raise awareness and take progressive action to end violence against women and girls.
The SADC-PF recognizes that the world of tomorrow has no place for GBV and that GBV is a major impediment to the socio-economic development of individuals living across the SADC region and beyond. In this regard, the SADC-PF has since decades mustered efforts with its partners to eliminate GBV in all its facets.
Recently, the SADC-PF has taken concrete action to end GBV by assisting Member Parliaments with a reliable legal benchmark that may be used for domestication purposes. Indeed, the Forum has been developing the SADC Model Law on GBV, which will be the first legal instrument of its kind to set the necessary normative standards in view of protecting GBV complainants from a human rights perspective. This initiative of the Forum corroborates the efforts made by the UN agencies, as well as brings a fresh perspective to inspire GBV norms at the domestic level in each SADC Member State. It is intended that the SADC GBV Model Law will be adopted by the landmark Golden Jubilee virtual 50th Plenary Assembly of the Forum to be hosted by the Parliament of the Kingdom of Lesotho from the 10th to the 12th of December 2021.
Through the SADC Model Law on GBV and other initiatives, the Forum equally pledges to end GBV by 2030.