No need to dump or kill babies – Sioka

28 February 2020 | Local News

Gender and child welfare minister Doreen Sioka says there is no need for women to dump newborn babies or kill them.

They should rather take them to the ministry so that people who are willing to care of them can be given the opportunity to do so.

Speaking in parliament on Tuesday, Sioka said the involvement of MPs is needed in the fight against baby dumping and gender-based violence (GBV).

“Violence against children is a thorn in the flesh and a great concern to government and the public at large. If you are not able to care for the babies, please bring them to the ministry so that we find individuals who will be able to care for them. I also urge survivors of GBV to always seek help to be counselled, in order to continue living a productive life,” she said.

Sioka added that young couples should talk to experts whenever they feel they are about to commit acts of GBV, to avoid hurting each other.

There was also minimal involvement of parliamentarians when there are GBV campaigns by members of the community, Sioka said.

Over the past few years, the ministry has put in place various measures aimed at addressing GBV and it, along with its stakeholders, continues to sensitise and train community members such as the youth, adults, traditional leaders and gender-focused individuals on gender-related issues.

“As I am speaking here now, there could be a campaign against GBV going on somewhere, but we as lawmakers are not present. Irrespective of all the efforts, I tend to think that maybe sometimes campaigns and services come in late; that as families, neighbours and communities, we may find ourselves not acting faster so as to ensure that couples are helped before killing each other or before babies are dumped or killed,” she said.

She added she is by no means blaming communities for GBV, but that she is rather urging people to start treating signs of GBV between people in relationships as an urgent matter and report them to the relevant authorities.

NAMPA

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