Eswatini GBV Crisis Initiative

Eswatini GBV Crisis Initiative to seek increased collaboration, resource allocation, and support from the government and CSOs toward ending GBV and Femicide in Eswatini.

Written By Thobekile Masilela

On February 14, 2023
Communications Specialist.

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Implementation Period



Urgent Action Fund Africa

Implementing Partners

African Women’s Peace and Development Foundation (AWPDF)

Stakeholders and Collaborating Partner

SWAGAA, Lipimbo Labomake

Goal of The Project

To seek increased collaboration, resource allocation and support from the government and CSOs toward ending GBV Crisis and Femicide in Eswatini.

Target Beneficiaries

• Women-led CSO leaders and women’s groups.
• Members of Parliament, Senators and Lawmakers.
• Government officials and leaders.
• Women survivors of GBV and Women and Girls in Eswatini.

Target Communities


Project Activities

• Mobilisation and Coordinating meetings for the initiated GBV CSO group.
• Intensive CSOs Indaba Gatherings and parliamentary sessions on GBV declaration debates.
• Mobilised parliamentarians and senators to support GBV disaster declaration bid.
• Sensitised and engaged state actors for stronger, more coordinated GBV response services and justice delivery. (Ministry of Justice, Deputy Prime Minister’s Office and Royal Eswatini Police).
• Provision of counseling, psychosocial and other support services to women survivors of GBV in high-risk communities.

Summary Results

The data presented by our Baseline during the Eswatini GBV Crisis Initiative project, showed that GBV is a major social problem faced by Eswatini as such it should be declared a state of emergency. The data showed that more females than males are victims of both physical and sexual abuse while emotional abuse seems to be higher in males and young people. The data showed the gravity of a social problem and presented opportunities for policy transformation and quality GBV response and prevention services.

A well co-ordinated GBV response service between Royal Eswatini Police, DPMO Gender Unit, and the Ministry of Justice which would result in improved justice delivery for women survivors of GBV and to reduce the present extended suffering and waiting.
The action sought to increase stakeholder awareness on the current GBV crisis and help build momentum and support for policy change. Strengthened service provision by the implementing partners and help women access quality GBV response and support services, thereby improving the enjoyment of their right to quality health services. Other partners leading the coalition are Liphimbo Labomake who helped mobilise the women movement and SWAGAA whose role in the project was to spearhead policy change advocacy efforts towards legislators in parliament and the senate.

AWPDF helped mobilise other CSOs to participate in the action’s activities and develop collaborative synergies with Royal Eswatini Police Service and the Ministry of Justice towards improved GBV prevention and response services. The Deputy Prime Minister’s office Gender Unit were an invaluable collaborating partner in this action as custodians of Gender Issues in the country. Their role was to mobilise other government Ministries and officials to participate in the program as well as assist in engaging the Prime Minister’s office as the supreme policy change office in the country.

The kingdom of Eswatini is characterised as a patriarchal society, where men possess all the power and this results in power imbalance. Culture also plays a vital role in promoting GBV, Inequality and financial instability in women among others. The project was conceptualized to address the growing concern about the escalating incidence of
violence against women and girls (VAWG) and the level of femicide in the country Women
Unlimited together with African Women’s Peace and Development Foundation (AWPDF) and other concerned stakeholders have held a consultative seminar to address this scourge and have called for the declaration of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) as a national emergency.


• Government has conducted a review of the National Strategy on GBV set to be finalised and published soon. The previous strategy was expiring 2022 which was a major contention in our urgent initiative and project goal.
• More stakeholders have been mobilised for the GBV emergency agenda and have joined the campaign and call for declaration including UN Agencies such as UNAIDS.
• Members of Parliament have adopted the declaration agenda and committed to table the request before the house and senate.
• GBV baseline was successfully concluded and provided data for our advocacy and awareness campaigns.
• More than 20 CSOs have been mobilised to rally support for the GBV crisis declaration thereby strengthening the GBV women’s movement.

Success Stories

The buy-in of the members of parliament for GBV emergency declaration is the most significant success story as it is likely to get the government to listen and treat the matter seriously or to eventually declare GBV a national emergency.

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