Stakeholders in //Kharas Region convened at Lüderitz, Rosh Pinah and Keetmanshoop last week to brainstorm on recurrent incidents of gender-based violence (GBV) and what tailor-made solutions could be devised to solve the issue in the region.
Gathering under the auspices of the Namibian Men for Gender Justice, various individuals from different sectors deliberated on GBV issues, and more so to suggest ways and means on how Namibian men can contribute to the eradication of this problem.
Project manager of Namibian Men for Gender Justice, Junian Gawaseb, told New Era the engagement with stakeholders in //Kharas is part of nine engagements in different regions on GBV, saying his organisation wants input from communities so that suitable special tailored programmes that respond to the needs of each region are formulated and put in place, adding that the engagement would also be used as a platform to sensitise people on the organisation's work on GBV, as well as to push for men to be more involved with GBV issues.
"Our coming here is to sensitise people of who and what we are, and to also get feedback on how best this programme can work here and benefit those affected, and it is also to align our thinking with all our stakeholders," he said.
He said that men are not very much involved in the GBV conversation and he therefore called on men to come on board and start contributing to the conversation, and in other ways so that GBV is gotten rid of, further explaining that men are even reluctant to speak out even when they are the victims of GBV, and this, he said, should not be the case.
"Men should get more involved in solving GBV issues - even when they are victims they do not get help, but getting help is not a sign of weakness but in fact a sign of strength," he said.
Gawaseb said he was impressed with the turnout and engagements in the regions covered so far, which includes Erongo, Omaheke and //Kharas, but noted with concern the absence of private institutions.
Wimmerth who participated in the engagement session at Keetmanshoop on Thursday said it was informative, adding that as someone who is already involved in the fight against GBV, such sessions are necessary and he called on other men to get involved and stop GBV by making their relationships a safe place for their partners.
"I encourage my fellow men to have a lovely environment for their women - even the Bible says a man should love his wife, but men in most cases do not want to be part of solving GBV because they are part of the problem," he said.