Dausab condemns gender-based violence

Hertta-Maria Amutenja

The minister of justice, Yvonne Dausab, has raised concerns over the prevalence of gender-based violence (GBV) in the country, attributing it to historical standards that were once socially acceptable.

She addressed the issue during the launch of the Distress Application (D-APP) in honour of the recent murder of Delia Weimers-Maasdorp in Windhoek.

Dausab emphasised that GBV affects both men and women, and it’s the responsibility of everyone to prevent violence.

“Gender-based violence is not only perpetrated against women but also against men,” said Dausab.

Maasdorp’s body was found in her flat in Klein Windhoek, wrapped in a blanket and tied with a length of rope. Wentzel Maasdorp, her former spouse, stands accused of her murder, along with theft charges.

A few days before her body was discovered, 21-year-old Theresia Siwombe was killed by her ex-boyfriend at Rundu.

Dausab’s remarks coincide with the discovery of Christof Frederick’s (30) lifeless body in a riverbed near Chairman Mao Zedong School on Ganzi Street in Windhoek’s Otjomuise area.

The lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex, and other (LGBTQI+) communities, represented by various organisations such as Out-Right Namibia and Free to Be Me, have rallied against the murders, demanding political leaders denounce what they referred to as a hate campaign against sexual minorities.

“The undignified killings of LGBTQI+ Namibians are a direct result of the parliament legislating hate and sanctioning hate crimes. National leaders should condemn the wave of violence against sexual minorities. Political parties show courage and support the right to exist for all Namibians.

Politicians, political parties, and elected officials rededicate themselves to a Namibia where everyone lives and works towards their well-being and the prosperity of all Namibians,” said director of OutRight Namibia Agapitus Hausiku.

They demand an end to the hate campaign against sexual minorities and urge national leaders to condemn violence targeting LGBTQI+ individuals.

During the launch, Dausab stressed the need to condemn all forms of violence, irrespective of gender.

“Violence does not discriminate, and we must condemn all manner of violence regardless of who the victim is,” she said.

The application is an initiative of the Namibia University of Science and Technology UNESCO Research Chair on Gender and Digital Technologies, Professor Gloria Lyawa.

According to Nust spokesperson John Haufiku, the application is not yet available because it requires funding to be downloaded.

“The application is still waiting for funding for the launch; they are still busy taking it to finders so that they can get it on Google Play, and other applications can be downloaded,” he said.

He added that the current version is only available on mobile devices with an internet connection.

“This version is only available on phones with internet. They are working on a version that can work on cellphones that are not connected to the internet,” said Haufiku.

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