Sioka Equates GBV to Xenophobia

Minister of Gender Equality and Child Welfare Doreen Sioka has exhorted regional and the international community to fight gender-based violence (GBV) with the same vigour shown when the global community condemned xenophobic attacks in South Africa.

Sioka said GBV is a serious issue, especially on the African continent, and therefore it needs to be contained as soon as possible through vigorous awareness campaigns and educating community members on how to go about resolving gender-based issues.

She made these remarks recently when she received a donation of N$20 000 from different embassies in Namibia towards fighting GBV issues. She observed that “GBV does not choose whether you are Namibian or foreign but it is an issue which is affecting everyone and on everyone’s doorstep thus anyone can become a victim of such practice”.

Further, she said the monetary donation was a noble sign of co-operation and support from fellow Africans who have felt the common need to support the country in fighting and containing GBV.

“With this donation I would like to call upon all private sector and state-owned enterprises of our country to emulate this example and rise to the occasion to support the ministry through engaging in events that will eliminate this evil scourge of GBV,” said the gender equality minister. Dean of the African Group Anastas Kaboba, who represented the embassies, said the donation was a symbolic gesture intended to touch the hearts of those committing GBV crimes. “As Africans we have no room to let violence destroy our cultures and way of living,” he said. The background against which children are raised is said to be a concern or a breeding ground for GBV, as girls and boys are raised on distinctive characters where boys are taught to be superior to women, leading men to exert violence on women as a form of controlling them.

However, Sioka assured that there are already interventions in place meant to tackle such issues, which would influence the way community members can live without exercising violence.

“This donation just came at the right time where it will be used to teach relationship skills at all levels in public, private institutions, churches, schools, traditional systems and academic institutions,” said Sioka.

She said the ministry of gender introduced a co-ordination mechanism in order to fully implement the National Gender Policy, which aims to achieve gender equality and empowerment of women in social-economic, cultural and political aspects.

Source : New Era