Namibia Economist (Windhoek)

Namibia: WAD Shocked By Horrific Crimes Against Women

Women ' Action for Development (WAD) has expressed horror, shock and disappointment regarding the gruesome killing of women, high teenage pregnancy and baby dumping rates which sent shockwaves through the country in recent weeks.

According to WAD's Executive Director, Veronica De Klerk, although Namibia is not unique to evils such as the recent passion killings and baby dumping incidences, it is shameful to count the country amongst those countries with these conspicuous social evils.

"Hardly a day goes by without reports of the killing of women, or the discovery of a new-born infant unscrupulously dumped by its mother. Poor people scavenging for food at rubbish dumps regularly make shocking discoveries of decomposed baby bodies among the rubble. Post mortems indicate these babies were dumped after a normal birth which amounts to murder" said De Klerk.

She said the key to this issue is undoubtedly the parental home which has failed society in the upbringing of their sons and daughters. "If this were not true, why then are our sons and daughters engaging in gruesome passion killings today and dumping their babies?," she asked.

She however commended the Ministry of Education for having appointed close to 1000 fully fledged life skills teachers in all secondary schools this year which are regarded as an extension of the parental home.

She also made an urgent plea to the ministry to view "Life Skills" as a subject which is crucial to prepare learners for life, crucial to prepare learners to respect the lives of other human beings, and to "uphold and respect our moral values and integrity."

"Therefore, in view of the significance of the subject, WAD urges the Ministry to consider pronouncing "Life Skills" as an examinable subject within schools. Although calls have gone up from many platforms to stop the phenomenon of baby dumping, it continues to occur even with intensified regularity," she said.

She added that common sense suggests that baby dumping requires a multi-sectoral scrutiny with perspectives to be provided by sociologist, psychologists, social welfare specialists, educationalists, and spiritual leaders.

"In the view of the crisis dimension of the problem, WAD is compelled to propose that the Ministry of Health and Social Services as well as the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare take the lead to convene a National Conference on Baby Dumping, Teenage Pregnancy and Gender Based Violence. If a conference of this nature was held before, it should be replicated since it ostensibly did not have a lasting impact," she said.

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