Policing is not enough
30 October 2020 | Opinion
Speaking this week at the inauguration of the new N$364 million Namibian Police Forensic Science Institute building in Windhoek, Geingob promised stiffer penalties for perpetrators of serious crimes.
While urging the police to redouble their efforts, the head of state also said the judiciary should tighten the loopholes in the criminal justice system when dealing with these cases.
What remains largely lost in the GBV debate is the underlying factors.
These include the patriarchal and sexist views that legitimise violence to ensure the dominance and superiority of men.
Other cultural factors include gender stereotypes and prejudice, normative expectations of femininity and masculinity, the socialisation of gender, an understanding of the family sphere as private and under male authority, and a general acceptance of violence as part of the public sphere.
Religious and cultural traditions have also sanctioned the physical punishment of women under the notion of entitlement and ownership of women.
Any battle to address GBV should thus include an interrogation of these underlying factors that are holding women and girls’ prisoner in their own homes, for fear that they will become the next victims.