LPM youth wing addresses gender-based violence

The party’s youth secretary says programmes should be implemented at schools and universities to address “gendered thinking and the traditional sexist behaviour of men and boys”.

09 November 2021 | Politics

ESTER KAMATI

WINDHOEK

The Landless People’s Movement on Saturday hosted a workshop to discuss the eradication of gender-based violence in the country.

This comes after allegations surfaced of a Unam student who had been raped on campus by a gang of fellow students.

The party’s youth secretary, Duminga Ndala, said sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) is entrenched in local cultures and institutions such as churches.

Ndala said programmes targeting schools and universities should be implemented as an effort to “address gendered thinking and the traditional sexist behaviour of men and boys”.

“Killing and raping is immoral and wrong and it robs the future of women and girls that could have contributed to the well-being of the country,” she added.

A survivor of sexual and gender-based violence spoke at the event, recounting her own experience with an ex-lover who tormented her for years.

She recalled the abuse she suffered both sexually, mentally and physically, saying her boyfriend had threatened to deliberately infect her with HIV/Aids.

The survivor said the abuse started with a single slap, followed by an apology and an empty promise that he would never do it again.

She eventually got a protection order against her abuser after she decided in 2008 that she wanted out of the relationship.

“The police became part of this relationship of ours through this fighting,” she added.

Action, not talk needed

National Theatre of Namibia (NTN) spokesperson Desiree Mentor said sympathy with abusers needs to be talked about more.

“We have loud voices when the people aren’t our brothers, our fathers. What do you say to your brother whom you witnessed hitting your sisters?”

She added that the country needs to focus on actions instead of just talk.

“What we need to raise awareness about is having those safe spaces and places that people can actually go to, where they can speak to people in confidence.”

She further encouraged young people to use their voices and talents to contribute towards the fight against SGBV.

Namibian Sun reported in March that the country had recorded over 6 000 SGBV cases in the last three years and over 5 000 protection orders had been filed in the same time span.

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