By Surihe Gaomas
Domestic violence continues to be one of the contributing factors to family breakdowns, HIV/Aids and inequality between women and men.
Head of Women’s Solidarity Rosa Namises raised this concern, saying the latest spate of killings, rapes and mutilation of women is disheartening.
“Violence is a burning issue in the Namibian society and we have all been affected by the daily media reports of brutal murders, rape and violence against women and girls,” said Namises. She was speaking at the commemoration of Human Rights/Namibian Women’s Day on Monday.
In view of the escalating violence, Namises urged that all police cases of violence against women and children, especially rape cases, be fast tracked.
“If we can fast track illicit diamond dealing, poaching and stock theft cases, why not cases against petrified women and children,” she said.
At the same time, the police also need to change the current delay in investigations of crimes against women and children and provide a supportive environment to help survivors to proceed with their cases.
This year the 16 days of Activism against Gender Violence 2007 ended under the theme “Demand Implementation, Challenge Obstacles and End Violence Against Women and Children.”
Quite ironically, Namises pointed out, with the rising incidents of crime, the women folk have also lost their identity of motherhood.
“Through these violent crimes, we lost ourselves as mothers because we experience lack of support and emotional breakdowns that lead to unacceptable actions from us as mothers, like dumping of our children,” said Namises.
Speaking at the same occasion, Deputy Minister of Education Dr Becky Ndjoze-Ojo said that violence against women and children continually violates those individuals’ lives.
“We cannot afford to rest on our laurels while people’s rights are still being violated. Various cases are reported every day in Namibia such as murder, rape, assault, child trafficking, grievous bodily harm and gender-based violence,” said Ndjoze-Ojo.
She called on Government, civil society organisations and individuals to work together to make sure that citizens know their rights.
With the launch of the 16 Days of Activism on November 25 in the Hardap Region there were various activities, speeches and campaigns mainly aimed at eliminating gender-based violence.
“It shows that the nation is horrified by all the inhumane treatment and killing that is happening in the country,” said Ndjoze-Ojo.