The Continued Prevalence of Gender Based Violence (GBV) in Namibia

June 24, 2015, 7:57am

The Continued Prevalence of Gender Based Violence (GBV) in Namibia

In 2014 former President Hifikepunye Pohamba called for a national day of prayer in response to an increasing trend of horrific GBV related instances where numerous Namibian women were murdered by their significant others. More than one year later GBV and domestic violence continues to tear at the very fabric that binds Namibian society, and Government appears no closer to finding a real solution to this issue.

The DTA of Namibia believes that GBV and domestic violence are complex social phenomena with multiple causes, that require a holistic approach in order to gain an understanding of these causes, and furthermore to develop appropriate response mechanisms. Any attempt aimed at addressing the scourge of GBV and domestic violence necessarily requires detailed investigation of the issue.

There are constant calls by leading figures within the tertiary education sector for more state funding for research, and we are reminded of the significant role that scientific research can play in finding solutions to Namibia's most pressing socio-economic and developmental challenges. Finding a solution to GBV and domestic violence needs concerted and directed social science research, investigation and inquiry into these social phenomena within the Namibian context. There is a desperate and pressing need to interrogate what it is about the psyche of Namibian men, the values and norms perpetuated through our local cultures, and religious narratives that continues to feed this most abhorrent of social ills.

Government interventions, with respect, to GBV and domestic violence have been largely reactive, dealing with victims once the damage has already been done. In this sense the DTA supports and reiterates calls by local civil society organizations and gender equality activists for increased focus on, and involvement of men in all efforts aimed at curbing GBV and domestic violence. In the majority of cases men are the perpetrators of GBV and domestic violence, and as such any measure aimed at addressing this social plague must go beyond the punitive interventions meted out by the justice system.

The DTA believes that social ills such as GBV and domestic violence can be overcome, but the Party is convinced that success in this endeavor will require a new way of addressing social issues in Namibia. The Party is convinced that only once we fully understand multi-faceted social issues, will we be able to design and implement measures to address these issues as well as effectively mitigate the negative effects thereof.