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WAD calls for State of Emergency on Gender Violence

Veronica De Klerk, Executive Director of Women’s Action for Development calling on the Namibian President to declare a State of Emergency on gender violence.(Photograph by Mandisa Rasmeni)

Veronica De Klerk, Executive Director of Women’s Action for Development calling on the Namibian President to declare a State of Emergency on gender violence.(Photograph by Mandisa Rasmeni)

At a special news conference this week, Women’s Action For Development (WAD) supported the appeal to his Excellency President Pohamba, to declare Namibia in a State of Emergency on the never-ending brutal killings of women, gender violence against women and the raping of women in the country. The appeal was made by Hon. Margareth Mensah-Williams, Deputy-Chairperson of the National Council.
WAD Executive Director, Veronica De Klerk, said that if the President could declare Namibia in a State of Emergency on the drought situation in the country, he can no doubt declare a State of Emergency when mothers and daughters are losing their lives on a daily basis at the hands of unscrupulous men.

“Although WAD is not an expert on the implications of enforcing a State of Emergency on violence against women, the organisation would want to see law enforcement officers act more decisively and not to refuse opening dockets for cases of gender violence which are often regarded as domestic issues. The Women and Child Protection Units should become more effective and efficient in protecting women, since WAD is receiving continuous complaints by women that the telephones of those units very often go unanswered” she said. “[WAD] also makes a plea to the private sector, ministries and government institutions, churches, health institutions, civil society organisations, youth movements and schools to urgently start implementing special programmes within their institutions which would expose their male employees and members to the rights of women, and to sensitize them to honour and respect women for who they are.” De Klerk also emphasised that this type of violence is predominantly caused by alcohol abuse and that the government should find a way to close the almost 5000 shebeens that are in Katutura, of which 2000 are illegal. “Shebeens are destroying families, there can be another way of putting bread on the table”, she said.
“It is WAD’s conviction that a State of Emergency is fully justified and that the President will serve the nation well by declaring it, to safeguard the more than 50% of the nation which is at risk. Now is the time that women are begging for strong leadership, more than ever before since they are finding themselves in an emergency.”

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