Lüderitz-Lüderitz residents took to the streets on Friday to raise awareness about the scourge of gender-based violence. The march was organised by the Lüderitz Town Council wellness committee and members of the community capacity enhancement team.
During the march, many people wore black to honour victims of gender-based violence. Deputy Minister of Gender Equality and Child Welfare Lucia Witbooi also joined the march.
The march started at the Lüderitz Magistrate’s Office and proceeded to the German Hall, where Witbooi asked the gathering to rise for a moment of silence to remember the late prominent gender activist Sarie Xoagus-Eises.
“Xoagus-Eises was a person who had gender issues very close to her heart. Namibia has lost a giant. May her soul rest in peace,” Witbooi said and further lauded the Lüderitz the committee members who initiated the march on creating awareness on gender-based violence within their community.
She said it spoke volume about the town and its inhabitants as they attempt to complement government efforts in implementing the National Gender Policy that was designed to create a society in which women and men enjoy equal rights.
She said gender-based violence can affect any person and although men and boys have also been victims of gender based violence, it is women and girls who are most often subjected to physical, sexual, economic, emotional and psychological abuse.
Witbooi said sadly, according to statistics from the Namibian Police Gender Based Violence Investigation Unit, 32 cases of domestic violence were reported to Lüderitz Police, of which eight cases were withdrawn, 17 cases are still pending and seven cases were resolved.
She said this was an indication that gender-based violence is indeed a serious concern, not only in Lüderitz but countrywide.
“We have seen the impact of GBV on the survivor. Therefore, it is incumbent upon all of us to take concrete measures to eliminate all forms of gender-based violence. I urge all of us to scale up our efforts in achieving zero incidences of gender-based violence,”
She further said the Constitution of the Republic of Namibia, the supreme law of the land, protects and promotes the rights of all people, including women.
Witbooi said in view of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence that runs from November 25 to December 10 every year, she invites every Namibian to join the ministry by coming up with awareness raising campaigns to fight and eliminate gender-based violence.
Chairperson of Lüderitz Town Council management committee Calvin Mwiya said women and men all over the world face gender-based violence and, Namibia in particular.
He said the committee organised the march because gender-based violence was increasingly prevalent in society. “People lost their lives, therefore we are required to commemorate or reflect on the hurt