By EDDIE OSIFELO
PRIME Minister Manasseh Sogavare has agreed for the government to seriously address Gender Based Violence in the country.
This came after Opposition Leader Mathew Wale urged the Prime Minister to increase the funding to address GBV after it does not receive enough allocation under the Ministry of Women, Youths Children and Family Affair’s budget.
Responding to Wale in the Committee of Supply in Parliament on Monday, Sogavare said to address gender based violence needs cross section of the society to deal with it and not only the government.
This include the donors and churches to help the government curtail this issue which is described as a ‘cancer in the society’.
Sogavare said the government will need to discuss it with the right ministry to look at ways to address it, such as building more safe nets.
He said it is a serious issue that needs to be addressed now.
Wale earlier said the government is not serious about the scourge of domestic and gender-based violence in our society beyond the rhetoric.
“If it did, the size of allocations would show it,” Wale said.
“We are not unlike any other country in the world in this matter unfortunately.
“Gender based violence has increased sharply in recent times, at least by 15 percent where records are kept, and we don’t even have a proper recording system for this problem,” Wale said.
Wale said the need for refuge or safe houses in each province is both urgent and desperate.
He said the Government cannot continue its current business as usual attitude to this problem in our midst.
“It must collaborate with the churches and NGOs and invest in a rollout of safe houses across the nation, whilst simultaneously adopting a proactive preventative approach.”
He added that given the urgency and desperation of this situation, it is important that government considers renting properties for safe houses, as it plans for long term solutions.
“There is nothing in this budget to address this cancer. Is it because this problem predominantly affects women, young girls and children?” Wale questioned.
According to MWYCA, based on data collected from the Safe nets, Christian Care Centre at Tenaru recorded 10-15 percent in 2020.
While Family Support Centre recorded 10-11 percent in the first quarter of this year.
Both centres have received new cases like victims and clients trafficking and People Living With Disability and children besides the ongoing GBV on women.