Gender Ministry to Launch 365 Days of GBV Activism

THE Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare (MGECW) will embark on a sensitisation programme against gender-based violence next month, including the observance of 365 days of activism.

The Minister of Gender Equality and Child Welfare, Rosalia Nghidinwa, said this in the National Assembly on Thursday during the introduction and tabling of budget programmes by various ministries.

A total of N$2,5 billion has been allocated to the ministry over the 201415-201617 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF).

The 365 days of activism will be an extension of the ’16 Days of activism against gender-based violence’ which was started by the Women’s Global Leadership Institute in 1991 and has been turned into an annual event.

“Looking at the alarming rate of incidents of gender-based violence across the country, the ministry would like to extend the 16 days of activism to 365 days, which will be launched in April,” Nghidinwa said.

She stated that the programme will be launched next month, once the National Budget has been approved.

Nghidinwa noted that the programme is aimed at intensifying awareness campaigns on the dangers of gender-based violence (GBV) through the media and other stakeholders in society.

She added that the ministry is working in close collaboration with the University of Namibia (Unam) through its Multidisciplinary Research Centre on research looking into the root causes of GBV in Namibia.

“The ministry has had a positive response from youth organisations on its call to fight against GBV, which culminated in the establishment of some youth organisations such as the Namibian Youth Against Crime and Gender-Based Violence (NYAGBV), which was launched in June 2012 in Otjiwarongo, the Namibia Young Women Association (NYWA), the Erongo Regional Youth Forum (ERYF), and many others,” she said.

She added that the Council of Churches in Namibia (CCN), Women Parliamentarian Caucuses, traditional leaders, the Women and Men Network, and church organisations are operating within communities to do awareness campaigns and counselling on the dangers of alcohol and drug abuse which are affecting the majority of the youth.

Nghidinwa furthermore stated that people affected by violence, especially by way of psychological and physical abuse, have started reporting incidents of abuse to the MGECW.

The ministry’s social workers have also started undertaking regular visits to affected homes to provide counselling services to victims.

Nghidinwa urged Namibians to visit their regional and constituency offices to seek counselling from social workers, adding that in places where there are no social workers, members of the public are aised to seek counselling from pastors or priests and other religious leaders from various denominations.

“GBV cannot be fought in isolation, it needs a coordination mechanism as proposed by the MGECW to include all key stakeholders,” she said.

Source : The Namibian