16 November 2018

Namibia: 1 798 GBV Cases Reported in Khomas in Six Months

WINDHOEK - Between May and October this year, a total of 1 798 GBV cases - ranging from psychosocial, physical and sexual abuse for both men and women - were reported in Khomas Region.

Of these, 841 cases involved children. This was revealed by regional governor Laura McLeod-Katjirua at a meeting held yesterday in Windhoek.

The Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare yesterday convened a two-day meeting with the aim to establish gender-based violence (GBV) and human rights awareness clusters for Khomas Region.

The meeting was also for consultations on the national women economic empowerment strategic framework, from which the region must deduce its own work in this regard.

The overall objective, its conveners say, is to establish regional GBV clusters to ensure effective and efficient implementations of gender-mainstreaming programmes, especially the fight against GBV, and the provision of human rights services to particularly women and girls.

Officiating at the event, McLeod-Katjirua emphasised the importance of the workshop for regional development and reviewed the status quo of GBV and its related challenging modalities.

"We live in an increasingly violent society in which fear of crime is ever present and personal safety has become an issue of importance for everyone - women and girls in particular," said McLeod-Katjirua.

Moreover, she is worried that violence against women and girls is too prevalent in most cases and often rooted in long-term behaviour and attitudes globally.

To this effect, she urged that children be seen as key actors in their own development. "This means not only protecting them and supporting families and communities to provide for them but also enabling an environment where children can actively participate in making decisions that affect their well-being," she said.

Furthermore, she called for more women empowerment, stating women are architects of society and must be empowered to become heroines of their lives but not the daily victims of GBV. "We must create a conducive environment for women and girls to participate in to contribute to and benefit from growth processes in ways that recognise the value of their contribution, respect their dignity and make it possible to negotiate a fairer distribution of growth," said McLeod-Katjirua.

Additionally, she guided against early child marriages and advised that parents should not feel compelled to marry off their daughters because of poverty and other social concerns.

The government envisages a nation in which there is zero tolerance on GBV where women are empowered and GBV is reduced from 33 to 20 percent. The meeting ends today with panellists sharing their regional experiences and modifications.


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