25 Nov 2013 14:40pm
KEETMANSHOOP, 25 NOV (NAMPA) //Karas Regional Governor Bernardus Swartbooi on Monday launched a regional forum in an effort to combat gender-based violence (GBV).
Launching the forum, Swartbooi encouraged schools, traditional leaders as well as parents to create awareness about GBV to boys and girls.
The reason is to reduce and later stop the crimes against women and children in this southern region.
I know it is a challenge, but it is a challenge we can meet, he stated.
Swartbooi said there is a need to promote marriages in the region, as married couples tend to raise responsible children who rarely commit crimes, as opposed to single parenting.
I am not saying that all single parents raise irresponsible children, or that they are not good parents. But we have seen that most of the perpetrators of GBV are raised by single mothers and grandmothers, he stated.
Other stakeholders on the forum include the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare in Keetmanshoop, the Namibian Police Force and various churches.
The forum will operate under the regional theme From Peace in the Home to Peace in Namibia: Lets Unite and End Violence against Women and Children.
It was launched on 25 November, the same day as the unveiling of annual world campaigns for the elimination of violence against women through what is called the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence campaign.
The 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence campaign is an international crusade which aims to raise awareness about gender-based violence as a human rights issue at local, national, regional and international level.
The forum comprises members from various ministries, and is expected first and foremost to generate and increase awareness on how to stop crimes committed against women and children.
It also includes raising awareness on how to stop women from abusing men.
These campaigns will be done through live broadcasts of panel discussions with community members on the //Karas Community Radio, as well as with congregations of different churches across the region.
The first event is expected to kick off in Keetmanshoop on 10 December when all churches will pray and urge men to stop abusing and killing women.
Some of the topics to be covered in the discussions include attempts to try and change the mindsets of men and boys to stop violence against women and children, and to reintroduce cultural and spiritual values in communities.
Other strategies include looking at how convicted perpetrators can be rehabilitated instead of just being sent to jail, and also discouraging lawmakers from violating laws as that sends a wrong example to children and society at large.
The official name of the forum is yet to be decided, and more members are expected to join.