GBV a measure of discipline in Kavango regions

27 Nov 2018 07:30am
RUNDU, 27 NOV (NAMPA) – Due to traditional beliefs, gender-based violence (GBV) in the Kavango regions is still strongly regarded to be a measure of discipline.
Generally, it has been accepted here that it is right when a man beats his wife. A phrase has also been coined in Rukwangali - ‘mungwa gepata’ - referring to this as a form of discipline.
These were part of discussions on Friday during the launch of the annual 16 Days of Activism Against GBV held at Mpezo village in the Mankupi Constituency, where residents discussed the causes of GBV, how it happens and who it affects.
The discussion was attended by about 300 residents.
Speaking to Nampa on Monday on the outcome of those discussions, Constituency Councillor and National Council Member Lukas Muha, who facilitated the discussions, said the majority of the voices noted that women are mostly victims of GBV followed by children and men to an extent.
“I started the discussions by asking the group who they think victims of gender-based violence are, and then posed a question to find out what it is women do to become victims of GBV as their rights cannot just be violated without them perhaps also contributing to the violence,” he said.
In response, the gathering including women thought “women talk too much and appear to be dominant towards their husbands or partners on things that need to happen in their household, which most men do not like”.
Women who consume too much alcohol were also identified as contributing to GBV as their spouses feel respect is lost when women use derogatory language or insult them.
“The residents went further and said in some cases you find men having children outside of the matrimonial household. The men would then decide to bring these kids in his marital home for all kids to be raised together,” explained Muha.
What then happens is that the wife would treat her stepchildren different from her own, which in turn angers the husband, added the councillor.
The residents further discussed that in the contemporary world, women are also subjected to polygamy and want to have affairs with more than one man.
“When the husband finds out about the affairs, he no longer can control his anger and resort to murder or violence.”
Other areas are when a woman is the breadwinner and does not accept supporting her partner or husband. This belittles the power of the man and in the end, leads to violence.
“I encouraged the residents that if there is any suspicion of GBV occurring in the neighbourhood, it should be the responsibility of them all to report it,” Muha told Nampa.