04 Apr 2014 09:50am
WINDHOEK, 04 APR (NAMPA) Finnish Ambassador to Namibia Anne Saloranta says gender-based violence (GBV) is an abuse of human rights, although its the least-recognised abuse in the world.
She said during the launch of the Ecumenical Action Against Gender-Based Violence Project (EAAGBV) here on Thursday that GBV is the most pervasive, and can be classified as a global pandemic as it cuts across all cultures, races, religions, socio-economic levels and international borders.
Gender-based discrimination gives rise to inequality, which can translate into sexual and domestic violence.
The realisation of equality between women and men, as well as girls and boys, effectively promotes the attainment of broader developmental goals, she noted.
GBV is commonly present in armed conflict, and has become a major public health issue, resulting in physical risks like higher rates of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, damage to reproductive organs or broken bones, and in worst cases, death.
The social and psychological effects are just as traumatising, leaving many victims feeling isolated and vulnerable, she stated.
There are also cultural practices and beliefs, which perpetuate GBV.
Families and communities play a key role in childrens upbringing. It is, therefore, crucial to tackle the underlying social attitudes which perpetuate violence, she continued.
The EAAGBV was launched by the Council of Churches in Namibia (CCN), in collaboration with the Helsinki Deaconess Institute (HDI).
It aims to address any form of violence against mostly women and children by promoting gender equality among men and women, as well as human rights in Namibia.