Every anti-GBV effort counts

14 October 2019 | Opinion

The MTC Knockout Project held over the weekend was a huge success in many ways. Naysayers, spurred on by armchair critics, had a field day tearing to pieces an initiative whose only intention was to campaign against violence to which Namibian women and children are perpetually subjected.

Critics particularly opined, which is their right to do, that boxing - a violent sport in their eyes - should not have been chosen as a model to send out a message against GBV.

That is a pedestrian look at things.

When professional men who participated on Saturday put their tools of trade aside, be it a pen for business executives or a mic for music artists, it was to show courage and will.

Those who lost their fights on the night endured ridicule and humiliation on national television, the same humiliation that women suffer through rape and other assaults on their being. Some of these men who put their bodies on the line did so in full view of their wives and children, who came to realise that their head of the house, despite being physically superior, is a mere mortal.

It was shown on Saturday night that men too are fallible. Those who showed up on the night to trade leather are telling us that men must be prepared to go through pain for the protection of women.

This is not the time to ridicule and trivialise any effort against GBV.

In the last two weeks of September, 30 children were reportedly raped. We are afraid this could just be a tiny tip of a large iceberg as many cases would have not been reported yet, or at all.

How dare we then say MTC and its partners had a lapse in judgement by hosting an event where the cowardly assault of our women was brought into sharper focus? GBV cannot be fought in a linear way. We have to be holistic yet pragmatic in all our interventions.

Saturday's event raised much-needed funds that shall be channelled towards dehorning the violent GBV bull.

Violence against children and women would not be eliminated by tweets and Facebook nagging.

Action would be the most viable approach. MTC and those unselfish compatriots who fought Saturday showed exactly that.

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