In 2010 alone, there were over 12 000 reported cases of gender-based violence and no public protest or petitioning for stiffer sentence, has found a solution as the country continues to be torn through gender-based violence.
Executive director of Women’s Action Development (WAD), Veronica de Klerk said this in Ondangwa over the weekend during a National Youth Council gathering of the young woman association of Namibia.
“There is no doubt the key issue of gender-based violence is the lack of proper upbringing of children in the parental home. It is sad to say many parental homes have failed society in properly rearing their sons and daughters.”
According to WAD, most potential male criminals and potential perpetrators of violence against women are created right in parental homes where they regularly witness how abusive language is being flung at their mothers and how their mothers are beaten by their fathers.
This De Klerk said comes from a research that WAD, in partnership with the Social Sciences Faculty of the University of Namibia (Unam), conducted, to determine the root cause of violence against women and girls.
This research was conducted among numerous jailed gender-based offenders countrywide and revealed that alcoholism tops the list of causes of violence against women.
Most of the offenders, according to the findings of the study, first experienced gender-based violence when their fathers attacked their mothers.
“It is disconcerting that currently, Windhoek alone has a disturbing number of 5000 shebeens, mostly in poor areas, of which 1500 are unlicensed. What is more disturbing is that it now seems shebeens have become the number one income generator for poor communities. We have failed to control the free availability of alcohol in large quantities to anyone with money, including the youth,” said de Klerk.
She further called on the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS) to take the lead in facilitating a long overdue national conference with other ministries, principals of schools, churches, youth movements, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), the police and other relevant entities with the view to discuss the extent of the problem.
“This would pave the way in ensuring corrective measures. The challenge is now upon you, the National Youth Women’s Association (NYWA) to take the lead to fearlessly probe all sectors of society to join hands to transform Namibia into a safe and peaceful country, which it can be.”
Guest speaker at the conference, Grace Soko of the Young Women Christian Association of Tanzania (YWCA) called on women to take up campaign similar to what they have in that country called the Tamar Campaign.
“It is based on Tamar’s story in the Bible, found in 2 Samuel 13. She had been raped but decided to speak up,” said Soko challenging Namibian women whom she said had not spoken up against gender based violence.