ACCORDING to an action plan report on Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV), a total of 28.3% of Namibian young women agree that a husband is justified in beating his wife, while 29.5% of young men agree that a husband is justified in beating his wife.
The report which was released by the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare is a prioritized national plan of action on SGBV 2019-2023.
The report states that while 86% of sexual and domestic violence survivors are women, only 14.9% of these victims sought out help from the police and that 93% of SGBV perpetrators are men.
Minister of Gender Equality and Child Welfare, Doreen Sioka stated that SGBV is directed mostly towards women because of unequal power relations in most societies, and to some extent towards men.
She added that women who are exposed to GBV spend hours seeking for either medical services or hiding from their assailants and not attending to their professions or households.
Sioka stated that the prioritised action plan (2019-2023) accompanied by robust monitoring and evolution framework is meant to tackle the inordinately high levels of GBV levels in Namibia which is too complex to understand and challenging to tackle.
She added that SGBV happens in most cases due to a traumatic past, the conflict between tradition and modernity, and entrenched social and gender norms, often exacerbated by poverty-related stress, family breakdown, and alcohol consumption.
“The high incidence of intimate partner violence in Namibia can be linked to the widely held attitudes that domestic violence is acceptable and that often perpetrators get away with their crimes. Data shows that reporting levels in Namibia are low, reflecting the belief that domestic violence is a private matter and the lack of trust that survivors have in the services available to them5cusing on addressing the complex nature of GBV by all stakeholders.” Sioka said.
Analysis of priorities mentioned by the more than 250 respondents during the review process guided the development of the plan and resulted in the identification of 4 action areas.
These four areas are Survivors First; Getting the response basics right; safety nets and community care: primary prevention upgrade, counting the cost: adequate data, adequate funding, and youth in the lead and transforming gender norms for long term prevention.