June 14, 2007

Government to tackle gender-based violence

Violence against women and girls will be tackled head-on and the line ministry has set up a national database to determine the root causes of violence, Minister of Gender Equality and Child Welfare, Marlene Mungunda, said. According to her, the Ministry had also established a National Gender-Based Violence Committee to come up with proper strategies. "The database on gender violence will help Government to understand and identify proper interventions." In 2005, some 347 rape cases against girls were reported to the Police and 12 cases of boys who had been sodomised. The highest number of rapes was reported in the Khomas Region between 2002 and 2005, Mungunda stated, with 180 cases in 2004 and 154 in 2005. In 2002, the Police recorded 17 rape cases and in the next year 161 cases were reported. Total figures increased from 763 cases nationwide in 2002 to 931 cases by 2005, Mungunda explained.
The Minister also lauded community efforts like Namibian Men for Change (Namec), which has 38 affiliated groups of men and school-based clubs for boys to encourage better behaviour towards women and girls. The White Ribbon movement has 1.500 active male members. She further announced that the Ministry would hold a national conference to identify violence patterns and to develop action and follow-up mechanisms. (The Namibian, Windhoek)

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