25 Nov 2015 19:50pm
WINDHOEK, 25 NOV (NAMPA) This years 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence (GBV) was launched in the capital by the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare on Wednesday.
The campaign, which is taking place under the theme Peace in the Home to Peace in Namibia, Unite to End Violence against Women, is an international campaign by the United Nations (UN) that runs until International Human Rights Day on 10 December every year.
Addressing those in attendance at the launch, Minister of Gender Equality and Child Welfare, Doreen Sioka said the presence of representatives of Government offices, ministries, civil society organisations, development partners and community members is a sign that people are seriously concerned about GBV.
Sioka said it also means there is commitment to finding effective and lasting solutions to GBV issues that negatively affect many families, destroy the socio-cultural well being and economic stability in the long run.
She said GBV is a major hindrance to the attainment of gender equality and also imposes restrictions on fundamental freedoms in private and public life.
Speaking at the same occasion, Khomas Governor, Laura McLeod-Katjirua said Namibia faces an alarming rate of killings of innocent women and children through GBV.
It is against this background that we launch this 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaign to sensitise the community against GBV and its effects, and to discourage alcohol and drug abuse among the youth and the community in general. Let us encourage the community to build a social fabric that has not been torn apart by these barbaric crimes, said the governor.
The Namibian Government has made considerable strides over the years to try and change the lives of women, men and children affected by GBV.
It enacted laws and formulated policies to protect people such as the Combating of Rape Act No. 8 of 2000, and the Combating of Domestic Violence Act of 2003.
In addition, two national conferences on GBV held in 2007 and 2014 came up with recommendations and assigned responsibilities to specific institutions to implement.
A lot still remains to be done as reports of GBV that often end in death, remain common.