Paulina Quintao – Rede Feto (RF) women's network umbrella organization and the National Directorate for Terrestrial Transportation (DNTT) launched a campaign to raise public awareness and in particular of public and private transport drivers in Dili about gender based violence and the law against domestic violence.
RF's Executive Director Dinora Granadeiro said the objective of the socialisation campaign is to increase awareness of drivers to contribute towards the reduction of violence against women and children in the country.
"As assessment conducted by Rede Feto in 2013 highlighted the prevalence of violence against women and that it often takes place public spaces and inside public transport. This is why we are focussing on the drivers," said Director Granadeiro in Dili.
She added despite the campaign starting in Dili that it would be also implemented in other districts in particular to district based drivers.
UN Women representative Liliana Amaral said the campaign was effective in raising the awareness of drivers so they can protect women and children when catching public transport.
Amaral said evidence shows public transport drivers do not often ensure the wellbeing and safety of passengers, in particular of women and children.
"Some drivers also perpetrate violence against women passengers to this campaign is very important to prevent violence against women and children in public places especially in public transport," she said.
The campaign aims to raise awareness and information of drivers about topics such as sexual assault, sexual abuse, gender, domestic violence so they can also be part in preventing all violence of this type against women and children in Timor-Leste.
Driver Tomas da Costa says the campaign encouraged the community to gain information and knowledge about gender violence but further socialisation of the campaign is needed.
"I think it is important to strengthen and raise awareness about the law against domestic violence so that the community is able to understand the regulation and that there is a legal basis to control it," said da Costa.