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Violence against girls and women has been a thorny issue in our communities, with many stakeholders singing an old song of reducing, if not stopping, the many cases of gender-based violence (GBV). You probably may be asking yourself many questions as to why GBV cases are never decimated in Eswatini. Another question that we ask ourselves is whether the policies and laws enacted in Eswatini protect adolescent girls and young women from GBV. Nonetheless, Eswatini seems committed to addressing GBV among adolescent girls and young women, and this is evident through a number of national and international commitments. Many counties have embraced the art of domesticating the national GBV policy to ensure that their county-tailored policy responds to contextual key issues and that the interventions are culturally sensitised.


GBV is a devastating pandemic that affects one in every three adolescent girls, young women in their lifetime. Worse still, 35 per cent of women are said to experience physical or sexual violence. Globally, seven per cent of women have been sexually assaulted by someone other than their partner.
Currently, the statistics of adolescent girls, young women (AGYWs) experiencing GBV cases due to tough economic situations are high. Emotional violence is also alarming among AGYWs and is interlinked with mental health illnesses.

When schools are closed, the community gatekeepers, parents, religious leaders and local security actors have to work in tandem to address GBV among AGYWs who are at a greater risk. Finally, both State and non-state actors should leverage the 16 Days of Gender Activism to initiate the challenging discussion and debates around GBV. Let us orange the world during the 16 Days of Gender Activism to demonstrate our solidarity in addressing all forms of violence among AGYWs.

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