By: Dolly Menas
Deputy speaker of parliament Loide Kasingo says that women are the key to changing gender-based violence in Namibia as they have an influence on young children.
Kasingo made these remarks during the parliamentary standing committee on gender equality, social development and family affairs’ workshop on gender-based violence in collaboration with SADC earlier this week.
“Unless we change that to ensure that everybody looks in their households to educate our children while they are young, to respect the other human being, we can make laws and policies, but we are not going to change anything.”
“The question we have to ask ourselves is that, who is the perpetrator? Most of the time, we say it is men, but there is a saying that says ‘when you educate a woman, you educate the nation’, and when we look at ourselves as women, we are the core to change this brutal killing,” she said.
According to her, women can change things.
About 5 427 GBV-related cases were recorded in 2019/20, in comparison to 2 643 cases recorded during 2020/21, according to the police.
Justice minister Yvonne Dausab earlier this year tabled a combating of domestic violence amendment bill as well as combating of rape amendment bill in the national assembly.
Kasingo added that Namibia has witnessed acts of brutal killing, sexual assaults, rape and physical beating, mostly committed with impunity and without an end in sight. She also said that the workshop comes at the opportune time when the country is grappling with an alarming rate of gender-based violence cases.
She said the workshop is aimed to craft the way forward on the public hearings on the gender-based violence petition referred to the community.
She also argued that domestic violence cases should not be allowed to be withdrawn by victims as abusers can be manipulative.
“Women are frightened people. They are innocent human beings. They can be battered by their partners and tricked into withdrawing cases.”
SADC representative Lekho Kia Lehopo said that gender-based violence continues to be one of society’s most notable human rights violence.
“The is growing evidence that GBV is on the increase in the SADC region, and this increase is triggered by various factors that require concerted efforts from all stakeholders to ensure a coordinated approach to effectively present and respond to it,” she said.
In addition, Lehopo said the 2008 SADC protocol on gender and development, amended in 2016, promotes several approaches to the gender-based violence response.
Lehopo also said they also want to talk to the regional strategy and framework to address GBV, a document that will run with them until 2030 and was also developed to be operationalised.