MPs commit to fight against GBV

Martin Endjala

Members of Parliament (MPs) have committed to fight Gender Based Violence (GBV) that of late has taken many lives, living homes deprived.

The MPs pledge ahead of the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children Campaign, a United Nations campaign which takes place annually from 25 November (International Day of No Violence against Women) and runs until 10 December (International Human Rights Day).

This is in collaboration with the White Ribbon Campaign Namibia, a Non-Governmental Organization focusing on engaging men and boys in the campaign. The pledge took place yesterday at Parliament. By speaking out and taking actions to end violence against women and girls, participants are expected to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence on women in all its forms.

In the same vein, Speaker of the National Assembly, Peter Katjavivi, earlier this year, said he was disheartened by the manner GBV cases are increasing in the country. Emphasising that with the Combating Domestic Violence Amendment Bill and the Combating Domestic Rape Amendment Bill in parliament, which have now been passed, they will be tackling GBV issues of GBV, and harsh punishment will be given to those committing such offenses.

The Speaker then urged lawmakers to ensure that the two bills would serve their purpose to the fullest to bring peace to the plight of all Namibians. The sentence of perpetrators is said to have been increased as per the bill proposal as perpetrators do not seem repent after confinement and rehabilitation.

Namibia’s alarming killings and sexual assaults, amongst others, committed without impunity, has resulted in the country having to battle GBV, with women being urged to be at the core front of changing the country’s status quo with regard to GBV.

At the recent Parliamentary Standing Committee on Gender Social Development and Family Affairs and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) workshop, held in Swakopmund in July, Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Loide Kasingo, said that women can bring the much-needed change given their natural compassion. Stressing that lawmakers and policy regulators can spend time coming up with new laws but it will not yield any results if women and men cannot even educate their own households.

The Ministry of Justice recently inaugurated a GBV Rehabilitation Court at the Katutura Magistrate Court for GBV victims who feel at times frighten. Kasingo further advised GBV victims, particularly women, not to be sweet-talked by their partners or perpetrators in withdrawing cases only to suffer at the same person’s hands again. But to rather allow the law to take its course and hold them accountable.

By Observer