22 October 2018

Namibia: Churches Vow to Help in Tackling GBV

THE Anglican mothers' union diocese of Namibia has vowed to help the government in the fight against gender-based violence.

Members of the diocese held a demonstration on Friday at Outapi in the Omusati region against social problems in the country, which they said affects the physical, spiritual and social well-being of the people.

Their march started at the St Barnabas Anglican Church and proceeded to the regional office, where they handed over a petition.

The demonstration follows the start of the annual meeting of the Anglican mothers' union members from all walks of life.

Earlier this month, several MPs in the National Assembly called for the reintroduction of Bible studies in the school curriculum.

The MPs made the call during the debate on the basic education bill, and called on basic education minister Katrina Hanse-Himarwa to allow for the teaching of Bible studies in schools to improve the moral behaviour of the youth.

Meanwhile, during their march, the women resolved that as peacemakers, they would endeavour to bring peace to homes, churches and the whole nation by giving advice to perpetrators, and counselling to the affected victims.

The women emphasised that churches and the government should work together in addressing societal issues. They also declared to take part in training and support programmes which promote the wellness of women involved in policies and decision-making.

Mothers' union diocesan secretary Vistorina Nakuatumba, who handed over the petition to Outapi councillor Fillemon Shikwambi, said there are a lot of things happening in the country, ranging from gender-based violence, alcohol and drug abuse, baby dumping as well as rape, yet many people remain silent about them.

Shikwambi accepted the petition on behalf of Omusati governor Erginus Endjala.

Nakuatumba stated that women are brutally killed every day, and union members would love for the government to hear their cry.

"We will ensure that our homes, our parishes and our communities are turned into safe places where our parents, partners and sisters live in peace and harmony. Those who are abused may be able to seek help and find refuge in times of need. We will ensure that perpetrators receive counselling and support (as they return to the communities we live in)," she asserted.

Nakuatumba stressed that they will try to break the silence with regards to all forms of abuse to ensure that women who suffer in silence may be able to seek help.

Shikwambi assured the group of over 300 demonstrators that their petition will be treated with the urgency it deserves, and that it will be handed over to the appropriate authorities.

- tuyeimo@namibian.com.na

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