Gender-based violence needs immediate attention: Nghidinwa

15 Jun 2013 08:40
WINDHOEK, 15 JUN (NAMPA) - The Minister of Gender Equality and Child Welfare said Namibians need to pay more attention to the cruel and humiliating incidents of gender-based violence perpetrated against women and children in the country.
Rosalia Nghidinwa made the remarks here on Friday evening during the official launch of a booklet by her ministry which contains guidelines on the minimum standards and quality of care for children in kindergartens and other home-childcare facilities in the country.
The occasion was part of events to celebrate the Day of the African Child annually on 16 June.
?Every day stories of cruel and humiliating punishment, neglect, sexual abuse and other forms of violence against children and women are being reported in our local and international newspapers.
In Namibia, gender-based violence and the multiple impacts of the HIV/AIDS on women and girls are issues that need our immediate attention. A recent study in the country on gender-based violence shows that about 73 per cent of the gender-based violence incidents are perpetrated by people known to the victims, ? said Nghidinwa while appealing to all peace-loving Namibians to help promote and protect the rights of women and girls in the country.
According to Nghidinwa, the Namibian Government has, however, so far made some commendable efforts in addressing issues of the protection of women and children by ways of ensuring access to quality health care and education in the country.
The minister told the people attending the event that about five children die in Namibia before they reach the ages of five ?and almost all these children die from preventable diseases, and some child deaths are caused by harmful social and cultural practices. ?
She said her Swapo-led government is fully committed to ensuring that all laws pertaining to the protection of women and children in the country are being put in line with international standards.
?We have passed many laws that are now in conformity with the principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and we have made policy provisions in every sector that is relevant for the children being health, education, gender and child welfare, safety and security, home affairs and local government,? stated Nghidinwa.
She said that her ministry has further demonstrated its commitment to the protection of the children in the country through the drafting of the Child Care and Protection Bill, which replaces the Children's Act, Act 33 of 1960.
?And this bill will be presented to Parliament very soon. In years of cooperation with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), we have shown many achievements in all the afore-mentioned sectors.
Yet, as we commemorate the Day of the African Child, we are reminded of what still needs to be done. Following through with the commitments we have made to the protection of the children depends on every level being national, regional and right down to the communities in which our children live,? noted the minister.