Namibia has been faced with a serious challenge with regards to Gender Based Violence, which are mostly affecting women and children and to some extent, men and boys as well.
The Minister of Gender Equality and Child Welfare, Doreen Sioka while addressing staff members of the Ministry, said despite all the efforts GBV cases are on the increase.
“Young women lost their lives and children became orphans. I am calling upon all Namibians to get involved in the fight against GBV by offering support to victims and their families and report any signs of abuse to relevant authorities.
She said Namibia has in place platforms for all stakeholders known as the Coordination Mechanism for the effective implementation of the National Gender Policy that grouped the 12 areas of the Policy into 6 clusters; GBV and Human Rights is one of the 6 clusters.
Sioka noted that the GBV and Human Rights cluster is composed of various stakeholders from Government, churches, and civil society. The aim is to focus attention on GBV and to garner strength from all stakeholders in order to find ways on how to combat GBV and to advise the government accordingly.
“We now know that Trafficking in Persons is a real phenomenon, and as a country, we are not spared from this challenge and our Government took serious actions to prevent and address human trafficking, Sioka said.
According to the minister, major strides have been made in promoting community-based initiatives through community mobilization programmes aimed at enticing community members to participate in programmes that promote community upliftment and improved livelihoods.
“The past 5 years saw the completion and renovation and repair works at a number of shelters for GBV and Violence Against Children. These Shelters have been operationalized and they are located at Keetmanshoop, Windhoek, Opuwo, Outapi, Eenhana and Katima Mulilo. The repair and renovation of the Shelters at Mariental and Khorixas will be finalized during the current Financial Year for their immediate operationalization.”
Lastly, Sioka noted that the MGECW conducted a survey that provides reliable evidence to enable the MGECW to develop a strategy on how to end violence against children. This is the first study to be conducted by the MGECW on violence against children. The survey was conducted nationwide with the support of the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, National Statistics Agency and UNICEF.
According to the study 39.6% of female and 45.0% males reported having experienced violence in their childhood.