Response to GBV in SADC remains a challenge

06 Dec 2018 11:40am
WINDHOEK, 06 DEC (NAMPA) – The criminal justice system’s response to gender-based violence (GBV) remains weak in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region, Gender Links Chief Operations Officer, Kubi Rama has said.
Rama made these remarks at the opening of a two-day Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) workshop here on Wednesday.
She said 12 of the 15 countries in the region now have domestic violence legislation and 13 have sexual assault legislation, adding that all countries have laws on human trafficking, but many lack the data to track victims.
All countries, according to her, offer some form of services to survivors of GBV, however under-resourced non-governmental organisations (NGOs) continue to do most of the work.
She said SADC is working towards a regional approach to meet the goal of eliminating gender-based violence by 2030.
Speaking at the same occasion, Popular Democratic Movement Member of Parliament, Elma Dienda said Namibia is faced with a challenge of implementing most legal instruments signed at sub-regional and global levels to promote gender equality.
“Our pace of implementation is very slow,” she said, stating that something must be done by the relevant authorities to monitor the progress made with regards to the implementation of such agreements.
She appealed to the workshop participants to look at how Namibia can realise SRHR across the country.
Dienda suggested that ending GBV should be a top political priority, and that the narrative should be changed by talking and acting to improve citizens’ SRHR so that they can enjoy all their rights as citizens.
She further proposed rebranding and learning from the HIV/Aids campaigns as well as putting the lived experiences of women at the centre of the campaigns.
“These are not the usual stories you hear in male power-loaded courts or media. They are the raw, lived experiences of women. Centre their voices in this new revolution,” she requested.
The workshop was organised by Gender Links in support of the 16 Days of Activism aimed at addressing violence against women and children. The campaign started 25 November and ends 10 December.