27 Nov 2013 13:00pm
WINDHOEK, 27 NOV (NAMPA) Desert Soul Board Chairperson Yvonne Dausab says the silence behind closed doors has become like a killer in homes in Namibia.
Dausab made the remarks in reference to gender-based violence while speaking here on Monday during the launch of a three-year project aimed at developing community protection mechanisms against gender-based violence (GBV) in the Zambezi and Khomas Regions.
It's this silence and inaction that places women at greater risks of the violence we witness in newspapers, she said, adding that high levels of violence against women and girls remain a major concern which requires concerted effort and investment from all sectors of society.
The N.dollars 4,2 million project is co-funded by the European Union (EU), and aims to empower women and girls to access services and obtain their rights as constituted within national laws and policies.
Dausab stated that GBV is a phenomenon which goes beyond economic disparities, levels of education, personal consciousness and cultural differences or religious beliefs. She said it is complicated by values which promote confidentiality and privacy with regards to family affairs.
Since most violence against women and children happens within the confines of families, and homes which by virtue of our values are spaces where outside interference is restricted, most women suffer in silence, she stated.
Dausab went on to say violence against women places huge limits on women's full advancement, saying it amongst others limits womens access to health services, their full participation in civic processes, and their levels of productivity in work places.
She indicated that Desert Soul hopes to make a difference in at least two regions (Zambezi and Khomas) through strong mobilisation of community members to become a source of support and hope for many out there who are suffering at the hands of their loved ones.
The project will build on existing community structures and work closely with other stakeholders to create a critical mass of action towards the protection of women and children against violence.
The Desert Soul organisation forms part of a 10-country network across Southern Africa, initiated by the Soul City Institute for Health and Development Communication in neighbouring South Africa.
Established in 2008, it aims to empower communities throughout Namibia where individuals and groups make informed, healthy and positive lifestyle choices.