Traditionalists needed to address GBV: DTA

15 Oct 2015 15:10pm
WINDHOEK, 15 OCT (NAMPA) - The DTA of Namibia says despite numerous efforts such as consultations and campaigns by gender activists, there appears to be no change in the prevalence of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in the country.
The party said in a statement issued on Tuesday it is saddened by the deaths of Jacqueline and Cecilia Kauseua, who were murdered last Friday.
A 32-year-old teacher was arrested Friday night while attempting to commit suicide and is currently undergoing treatment in the Katutura Intermediate Hospital. He is expected to appear in court on Monday.
DTA Chairperson, Jennifer Van den Heever said the party was saddened by the gruesome and inhuman manner in which the two sisters were taken away from their family and friends.
“As a nation we must begin to sincerely ask ourselves what it is about the make-up and fabric of our nation that continues to breed the occurrence of this disturbing phenomenon and social ill within our society. We must be willing to ask the tough questions, only then can we truly get to the crux of the problem,” said Van den Heever.
She stressed that given the frequency at which GVB occurs in Namibia, it would be foolish to regard it as isolated acts committed by deranged or disturbed individuals.
The frequency of these incidents points to a deeper societal issue that has permeated the Namibian nation, she added.
DTA of Namibia said when such an incident occurs, there are often widespread calls for churches to intervene and act as a moral compass to guide society.
“What the nation forgets is that we live in a secular state. Yes, the statistics seem to point to the fact that the majority of Namibians (90 per cent) are Christians, but the marriage between church, family values and the law is complex if you were to believe the statistics and assume that 90 per cent of Namibians are indeed Christians.
“By default, this means 90 per cent of Namibians are being raised to believe in the biblical notion that men should serve as the head of the house and women must be subservient to their husbands,” she said.
Van den Heever noted that additionally, the greater majority of ethnic Namibian cultures promulgate the view that women are subservient to men. In churches and at home, therefore, young boys and men are raised to believe in the idea that the man is the head of the house and women are subservient.
She added that there is a need to get the buy-in of traditionalists in order for Namibian laws to be able to affect change and transform the manner in which the nation treats and values Namibian women.