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‘Men, We Left You Behind’ Says Women’s Activist Rosa Namises

By: Sheila Perestrelo

Director of Women Solidarity Namibia (WSN), Rosa Namises, says that, in the fight for gender equality, Namibian men were wrongfully left behind as the plight of the Namibian women outweighed the cries of men.

She was speaking following the conclusion of the first-ever Men’s Conference hosted by Sanlam over the weekend.

The conference sought to address the country’s alarming rate of GBV cases and saw hundreds of men attend.

According to the former parliamentarian, men should also take it upon themselves to raise awareness of their struggles, as women have created various platforms to aid in their fight against GBV, and men need to join the battle.

Earlier this year, it was reported that common assault is prevalent in the Khomas, Ohangwena, Erongo, //Kharas and Omusati regions. Assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm is common in Khomas, Ohangwena, Oshana, Omusati and Kavango East regions. Rape-Khomas, Ohangwena, Oshikoto, Otjozondjupa and Oshana, while attempted murder is prevalent in Ohangwena, //Kharas, Kavango East, Kavango West and Erongo.

“People should avoid playing the blame game and should rather open a discussion on why these acts of injustice are happening at such alarming rates in order to help the youth that are yet to face the repercussions of gender-based violence.

“We shouldn’t get stuck on the blame game so that we don’t lose clarity and the possible woman and girls that may go through this violence and rape constantly and also so that we don’t lose men that may go to jail or take their own lives.”

She added that men should sit to talk amongst themselves and with women affected by GBV. She argued that blaming women for what has happened to them should end, adding that it is not the solution to decreasing acts of violence.

“How the assumptions and how the myths grow about how women are is not really clear. People say that women go on dates and expect the men to pay along with when the women receive Brazilians, nails and the new phones in exchange for sexual intercourse, and if she doesn’t like it, she ends up murdered.”

Namises says women have the right to set boundaries in relationships.

“In this discussion, if I say no, the man should understand that, and he can go solicit sex at another place because bringing that kind of exchange of gifts for sexual intercourse brings it to be classified as prostitution,” said Namises.

She urged for proper discussions to be held to help men and women understand what a healthy relationship is between two romantically involved partners in hopes of creating safer spaces for women and men in their relationships.

Julia Heita

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