08 Mar 2016 17:50pm
OTJIWARONGO, 08 MAR (NAMPA) - Over 500 residents of Otjiwarongo in the Otjozondjupa Region on Tuesday gathered at the Swanevelder Community Hall to commemorate International Womens Day.
The event started with a street march from the DRC football field via Dr Libertina Amadhila Street to the Swanevelder Community Hall in the Orwetoveni residential area.
In a speech read on her behalf, Minister of Gender Equality and Child Welfare Doreen Sioka said the day is commemorated under the theme Zero Gender-Based Violence towards 50-50 Gender Equality.
She said the purpose of the day includes mobilising men and boys to march in support of gender equality and womens empowerment.
Men are critical elements of our strategy in eliminating gender-based violence because they are first and foremost amongst the majority of the perpetrators of gender-based violence.
Sioka said men and boys also suffer gender-based violence, but do so in silence while they also need to be empowered.
The minister said from 2013 to 2015, 10 142 cases of GBV were reported to police stations across the country.
She said this figure is way too high and said some members of society have lost their sense of respect for human dignity and human life.
The minister encouraged the involvement of every member of the community in intensifying campaigns against any sort of GBV, adding that such cases must be reported to the nearest police station.
On his part, Otjozondjupa Regional Governor Otto Ipinge said respect for women, wives, sisters and girls in general must become a norm for all men and boys in the country.
These women give birth to us, take care, cook and look after us day and night, so why must we kill them when a relationship does not work in our favour? Divorce and get someone else if the marriage does not work out instead of ending someones life, said Ipinge.
Otjiwarongo Deputy Mayor Modaratha Shaduka, members of the Namibian Defence Force (NDF) and Namibian Police Force (NamPol) amongst others also attended the event.
International Womens Day is celebrated on 08 March. This year, the international theme is Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality, while in Namibia the day is being celebrated under the theme Zero Gender-based Violence Towards 50/50 Gender Equality.