Remove Shebeens From Residential Areas

Gender-based organisations and their stakeholders want the Ministry of Trade and Industry to remove all shebeens and liquor outlets from residential areas and to amend the Liquor Act to ban shebeens near educational facilities.

Participants announced these recommendations in a report after the Second National Conference on Gender-Based Violence (GBV) held from July 2-4 this year.

They also want to see that regulations are enforced so that liquor outlets demand to see an identification document (ID) before selling liquor especially to youth suspected of being under-aged and who are prohibited from purchasing alcohol.

The conference held under the auspices of the Office of the Prime Minister proposed the Women and Child Protection Unit be given a gender neutral name “to encourage people (including men) to report GBV and follow up by changing attitudes of service providers towards men who are victims of GBV”.

Among other things, the GBV conference also recommended that the Ministry of Safety and Security improve processes and procedures at the police station with regard to handling of GBV cases, while improving police conditions of service.

The Ministry of Health and Social Services was requested to create a conducive environment for counselling sessions to promote privacy and confidentiality in all regions and to revive the Etegameno Rehabilitation Centre, as well as integrate alcohol and drug abuse rehabilitation centres in all referral hospitals.

The participants also aocated for Bible studies and Life Skills to be reintroduced as promotional subjects in high school and to avail bursaries for those who want to study social work, psychology, psychiatry and forensic medicine or investigation.Gmo

When it came to traditional practices, the conference recommended that the Council of Traditional Authorities and the Ministry of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development research and revive positive cultural and traditional practices and norms that have preventive and responsive benefits to GBV, while redefining cultural beliefs that can help in combating GBV.

The private sector, state-owned enterprises, non-governmental organisations and civil society organisations are encouraged to invest in GBV prevention and response and implement programmes to complement efforts and provide relevant support to government, while faith-based organisations have been tasked to include prevention of GBV in their sermons.

The Ministry of Justice has been asked to establish special GBV family courts with specialist prosecutors to provide speedy services while the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare has been asked to strengthen the capacity of support groups to reduce GBV.

Source : New Era