EDITORIAL: The monsters among us

23 September 2021 | Opinion

It is continuing shame that especially little girls and women have to have it ingrained in them not to expose themselves to potentially dangerous situations where predators lurk.

The rape scourge, accompanied by other forms of abuse, remains the darkest of blights on our nation. This is fuelled by patriarchal mindsets and disgusting notions that women ‘ask’ to be assaulted or worse, simply because they have consumed alcohol or dress a certain way. The battle against the objectification of women in Namibia is a long way from being won. Obviously, gender-based violence is not unique to Namibia. According to the World Health Organisation, one in three women have been beaten, coerced into sex or abused, most often by someone they know.

The impunity largely enjoyed by perpetrators, and the fear generated by their actions, has an effect on all women and girls. It also takes a toll on a global level, stunting the contributions women and girls can make to international development, peace and progress. Often victims are dealt with as if they are also contributors to this scourge.

If we raise these monsters, who grow up to hurt and maim others, we are equally guilty. And until entrenched patriarchy and misogyny are addressed, women and girls will keep living in fear and looking over their shoulders. It all begins with a change in mindset and putting an end to victim blaming and -shaming.

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