By Foibe Paavo
Swakopmund, July 28- A three-day workshop on gender-based violence for the members of the Parliamentary Standing committee on Gender Equality, Social Development and Family Affairs comes to an end at Swakopmund today.
Held under the theme “Strengthening the legislative and policy responses on GBV in Namibia: the role of Parliamentarians”, the workshop which ran from 26-28 July was aimed at raising awareness and making members of the committee understand the status of gender-based violence in the country.
The workshop is also aimed at crafting the way forward with envisaged public awareness on gender-based violence petition referred to the committee.
The intervention further seeks to familiarize members with national, regional and international legislative frameworks concerning GBV, advocate the prevention of GBV and encourage dialogue between MPs and key service providers, in order to understand GBV’s main concerns and challenges facing the country.
According to SADC senior officer Kealeboga Moruti, the SADC secretariat conducted a comprehensive gender-based violence study in 2018 which indicated that 26.8% of respondents in SADC member states had experienced emotional violence, while 11.2%, slightly more than one in every ten, had experienced physical violence and 12.0% had experienced sexual violence.
The study further noted that 33% of the partnered women aged 15-49 years are experiencing intimate partner physical and/or sexual violence at least once in their lifetime.
Deputy Speaker of National Assembly Loide Kasingo highlighted that over the years, Namibia has witnessed acts of brutal killings, sexual assaults, rapes and physical beatings, mostly committed with impunity and without an end in sight.
“This workshop came at the opportune time when our country is grappling with the alarming rate of gender-based violence cases,” she said.
“Therefore to combat incidences of gender-based violence requires a multi-sectional approach – and I am delighted that different key stakeholders with the support of the SADC secretariat are all gathering here for the next three days, as a show of solidarity to address the GBV pandemic,” she said.