The Minister of Gender Equality and Child Welfare, Doreen Sioka, says gender-based violence could be contained if the country strives for gender equality, including to change ingrained traditional perceptions about women.
The minister made the remarks at the inauguration of the N$5.3 million gender office at Omuthiya yesterday.
Sioka said the establishment of the office is designed to motivate Namibians, particularly those in the Oshikoto Region, to voice problems affecting them.
“The office provides an enabling environment for both men, women and children to raise their concerns,” emphasised Sioka.
The office is also said to will provide comprehensive development, which will include ensuring social justice, preservation of human dignity and the fulfilment of the rights of each and every individual, irrespective of their gender.
The minister appealed to the community to utilise the services and opportunities availed at the office.
“This office must not be left idle and become a ‘white elephant’, but must be used as an engine to bring development to the area,” said Sioka.
She implored staff to serve the community with dignity and refrain from letting people down and subsequently the government.
“Please don’t fail us, but lift high the banner of national unity and human dignity,” said Sioka.
Sioka said that while an increase in gender-based violence has been observed in the country, government in collaboration with all stakeholders would strive by all means to root out the evil.
She said that while the ministry has made major strides, there is still room for improvement, especially with the coordination of programmes and activities geared towards community advancement.
“My trust and hope is that this office will be a beacon of hope, a platform for empowerment, information sharing, communication, problem solving and a place for dialogue and debate,” said Sioka.
Apart from the just completed office, the ministry also plans to construct a guard house to provide security services to the office.