By: Justicia Shipena
Rundu rural constituency councillor Paulus Mbangu says Namibia needs to address gender stereotypes to perfect the fight against domestic violence. Mbangu said this during the national council session this week while contributing to the domestic violence amendment bill.
The domestic violence amendment bill is also being debated in the National Assembly.
A gender stereotype is a generalised view or preconception about attributes or characteristics that are or ought to be possessed by women and men or the roles that are or should be performed by men and women.
“The fight against domestic violence can be perfected, but we must start addressing the gender stereotypes. Education in schools, informal education at home, policy organisations and even churches should begin implementing processes geared towards addressing gender stereotypes and gender inequality,” he said.
According to him, inequality is everywhere, even in churches.
“Where the poor person has a problem and goes to the church, the response from the church will always be slow, but it is a rich person or person with high status has a problem, the pastor will even put his foot in the way, the response will be speedy.”
Mbangu stressed that domestic violence in Namibia is getting out of hand, adding that it is painful when one reads about domestic killings.
He said victims are suffering violence from people who call them romantic names.
“The victim is suffering violence from people who claim to love them, people who continuously call them darling forever, sweetheart, baby and honey, and because of a single disagreement, all those romantic vocabulary gets buried and are replaced by anger and wickedness,” Mbangu said. He thus, appealed in the august house that it is about time that Namibia needs to be practical and called for action.
Also contributing to the bill is Okahandja constituency councillor Bethuel Tjaveondja who submitted that life moves on and that the end of a relationship is not the end of the world.
“Just fall, wake up, stand up again, move around, and eventually find your life partner,” said Tjaveondja.
Meanwhile, Popular Democratic Movement councillor for Opuwo, Ueutjerevi Ngunaihe, says it seems that some men in Namibia do not have an idea of where they are going anymore while stating that they have lost the identity of manhood.
“In a cultural perspective, a man is supposed to be a protector and breadwinner of the family. But today, we run away from all these responsibilities and replace them with something else that is uncalled for,” he said.
He expressed that women taking up top positions and showing the capability to provide for themselves has led to men in Namibia being insecure.
“Today we have seen women coming up, they are ministers, they have good positions in government, and they are supporting themselves and family; this led to men being insecure and having inner certainty about what it means to be a man, a husband and father because we don’t play those roles any more.”
“We must stop seeing women as sexual objects and start seeing them as a human being who needs to be loved, protected and cared for,” he further submitted in the national council session.
However, Ngunaihe said this does not mean women are not clean on the matter.
“Nowadays, if you can’t provide a Brazilian or those high shoes to your loved ones, you are no longer seen as a man. At the end of the day, we are just burning inside there emotionally, and the outcome is something else we don’t want to say,” said Ngunaihe.
The national council has now been adjourned until further notice.