By John Ekongo WINDHOEK Following a 16-day sensitisation campaign that took place from November until December last year on gender based violence, the organizers of the event yesterday launched a special magazine highlighting findings of the campaign. The campaign, spearheaded by Gender Media Southern Africa (Gemsa) in conjunction with the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), culminated in the birth of a glossy publication entitled “16 Days of Activism.” The publication, among others, addresses various issues of gender based violence as well as other forms of violence. Addressing several invited guests, the Minister of Gender Equality and Child Welfare, Marlene Mungunda, stressed that the total eradication of gender-based violence can only be achieved if all stakeholders get fully involved in addressing this social problem. Mungunda pointed out that the Namibian Government has embraced many laws and policies that are geared towards fighting gender-based violence. She emphatically noted that Government alone could not fight the battle on its own. “Government alone cannot fight gender based violence and crime, therefore teaming up with non-governmental organisations and donors should be encouraged,” she said. She highlighted the fact that the 16 days’ campaign has proven that stakeholders can stand together and fight evils that have befallen society. ” Violence carries a high cost, and multiple effects on the economy include loss of productivity and loss of wages for victims of violence,” said the Minister. Relating to the latest string of violent crimes being committed against women such as the recent brutal killing of a female police officer and the decapitation of a young woman late last year, she emphasized that no good deed goes unrewarded and no bad deed goes unpunished, so whoever is contributing to the downfall of the country’s socio-economic development would be brought to book. Speaking at the same event, UNESCO’s Country Representative Claudia Harvey echoed the sentiment, saying that her organisation was fully committed to the fight against violence and will not stop short of providing assistance where it is needed to publicly inform the public and promote the right of women in the country. The magazine was made possible with funding from various United Nations agencies and non-governmental organisations (NGO’s), among other partners.
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