Story by George Sanzila
Swakopmund – Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Loide Kasingo has commended the Ministry of Justice for inaugurating a GBV victim friendly court noting that such a gesture would go a long way in strengthening the implementation of the existing legal frameworks aimed at eradicating gender-based violence.
Deputy Speaker Kasingo said this when she officially opened a workshop on Gender Based Violence, currently underway in Swakopmund. The workshop by the Parliamentary Standing Commitee on Gender Equality, Social Development and Family Affairs is held in collaboration with the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
The Deputy Speaker who further hailed the Ministry for the tabling of the Combating of Rape Amendment Bill in the National Assembly, noting that the workshop came at an opportune time when Namibia is grappling with an increase in the number of cases. “Over the years, the country has witnessed acts of brutal killings, sexual assaults, rapes and physical beatings mostly committed with impunity without an end in sight. This workshop comes at a time when the country is grappling with alarming rate of GBV. The GBV victim friendly court at Katutura’s Magistrate court, will enable victims to testify without fear”, noted Kasingo.
Hon. Kasingo, reiterated the importance of a multi sectoral approach in the fight against GBV, adding that she was pleased that various stakeholders and partners responsible for the implementation of GBV laws and provision of services to GBV victims were available to make presentations at the workshop. The gathering, is intended to raise awareness and heighten advocacy and response to GBV. The existing legal frameworks will also be discussed including the role that Members of Parliament can play to end the scourge.
The senior officer responsible for Public Security at SADC, Kealeboga Moruti, who spoke on behalf of the Executive Secretary of SADC, H.E. Elias Magosi, noted that GBV formed part of common and increasing human rights abuses prevalent in societies in the region. She stated that a comprehensive GBV study conducted in 2018 had uncovered that emotional abuse was the predominant form of violence in SADC, followed by physical and sexual violence.
Moruti revealed that SADC had developed mechanisms to respond to the scourge. “The SADC blueprint documents, namely vision 2050 and Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) recognize the prevention and reduction of GBV. In addition, the 2008 SADC Protocol on Gender and Development (amended in 2016), promotes several approaches to address GBV”, said Moruti.
Namibia, which is a signatory to a number of international and regional human rights instruments has its own comprehensive legislative frameworks such as the Combating of domestic violence Act, Combating of Rape Act, Child care and protection Act and Criminal procedural Act amongst others.
The workshop, ends of Thursday (28/07/2022).