Khomas governor Laura McLeod-Katjirua says although sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) affects many women, few perpetrators are prosecuted.
The governor made this remark at a two-day workshop hosted by the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology at Augustineum Secondary School in Windhoek on Thursday.
The workshop, which concluded on Friday, was aimed at educating the youth and the community on ways to prevent teenage pregnancing and SGBV.
McLeod-Katjirua said SGBV affects one in three women and girls globally, and the consequences devastate individuals, families, schools, and communities.
"It is one of the most pervasive violations of human rights in the world, yet one of the least prosecuted crimes," she said.
The governor said Namibia cannot address teenage pregnancy separate from SGBV, because many teenagers girls fall pregnant as a result of rape or forced sex due to cultural and religious beliefs.
"You would think the situation is not serious until it hits close to home. Let us not wait for the situation to happen to us or someone close to us to address it," she said.
The governor urged parents and guardians to be more supportive in addressing the issues.
"When your child comes to you and tells you your husband, her father, is abusing her sexually, instead of taking the issue up and reporting it, you view your own daughter as competition in your marriage and you kick her out, or you tell her to keep quiet. What did you solve by doing that?" she asked.
Speaking at the same event was deputy director of lifelong learning at the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture Steve Kangundue, who said young people need love and being in an environment where they feel safe and protected.
"We need to protect and give young people the love and attention they need to resolve their fears of talking about these issues," Kangundue said.
He said parents and guardians need to normalise talking to children about teenage pregnancy and SGBV.