Child marriage equal to murder: Sioka

08 Mar 2018 20:10pm
OMEGE, 08 MAR (NAMPA) – Minister of Gender Equality and Child Welfare, Doreen Sioka says violence against women in Namibia remains high and 15 per cent of women who experience physical violence, never seek help.
Sioka said this in a statement read on her behalf during the commemoration of the 2018 International Women’s Day by the community of Omege village in the Oshakati East Constituency on Thursday.
Apart from gender-based violence, Sioka said, Namibia is also faced with the challenge of child marriages.
She described child marriage as the worst kind of atrocity perpetrated in the name of culture, terming it as equivalent to murder.
According to her, child marriage permanently damages the future of an innocent child and impunity for such cases is fast coming to an end.
“I seriously condemn these practices as the current serving Gender Equality and Child Welfare Minister. It is a shame that we should even have such things happening right in our homes and in our neighbourhoods and we turn a blind eye to them,” Sioka stated.
She called upon all Namibians to work towards total elimination of child marriage.
Quoting the Namibia Demographic Health Survey of 2013, Sioka further noted that one in three married women (aged 15 to 49 years) has experienced physical, sexual, psychological and emotional violence from a spouse.
Thirty-two per cent of adolescent girls (aged 15 to 19 years) and 35 per cent of young girls (aged 20 to 24 years) have experienced physical violence from a partner.
Some young women (aged 15 to 24 years) are reportedly experiencing physical violence during pregnancy in Namibia.
Around 50 women and a smaller number of men attended the Omege commemoration held under the theme ‘From peace in the home, to peace in Namibia’.