Tackling gender violence and teenage pregnancies in Khomas
By David Adetona.
The Khomas Region Governor, Hon Laura Mcleod-Katjirua has called for more sustained efforts from all stakeholders to ruthlessly prevent, reduce or end the increasing cases of gender violence and teenage pregnancies through advocacy, enlightenment campaigns and action plans.
According to the governor, this situation necessitates serious introspection and rededication on the part of all stakeholders to develop specific strategies to achieve gender equality, equity, and the prevention of adolescent pregnancy in communities. She expressed these sentiments at the recent community and school mobilization workshop on awareness, management and prevention of gender issues and teenage pregnancy in the Khomas Region.
She also emphasized that the alarming number of gender violence cases and teenage pregnancies are social evils that are no longer a family, relative, household, or traditional authority issue, but rather a national social challenge that requires the unified action of all stakeholders in the region through public speaking, education or amendment of legislation.
“We must promote a culture of equality between men and women through institutional or legal reform, education, raising awareness, victim support and the full engagement of men and boys in ending social challenges,” she said.
More weight was given to this scenario when the governor unequivocally indicated that stakeholders or any other person can use their voice or presence on online or social media to raise awareness about how violence or teenage pregnancy happens and the prevention of it in communities.
Also speaking at the at the opening session, Hon John Moonde, Chairperson of the Khomas Regional Council, said the workshop is important as it helps to facilitate the exchange of ideas, improve understanding and develop competencies and skills necessary for societal change on violence and teenage pregnancy.
“We are all aware that the topics of gender issues and teenage pregnancy are of relevance, and as a society, we ought to create platforms to increase sensitivity, understanding and knowledge about gender issues and teenage pregnancies in our community,” said Moonde.
Most of the participants were thankful and acknowledged the value of the workshop, stating how it contributed or exposed them to relevant information and skills that enhance awareness on managing and preventing gender violence and teenage pregnancies.
The Khomas Region School Health Task Force comprising the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture, the Ministry of Health and Social Services, the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology, the Ministry of Sport, Youth and Community Services, together with the City of Windhoek, the Khomas Regional Council, Star for Life and various other civil society organisations recently conducted a workshop in Windhoek for learners, teachers and community members to develop strategies that prevent, reduce or end the increasing cases of gender violence and teenage pregnancies (Photograph by David Adetona)