AROAB – The nation will forever be doomed if it does not break the culture of silence when it comes to gender-based violence, gender equality deputy minister Bernadette Jagger said last week. “People can protest in the streets but if you and I are not ready to join all those who speak out on GBV, we can call this nation a doomed nation,” she said while speaking at a GBV event in Aroab in the //Kharas region.
The minister said gender-based violence is a serious violation of human rights. “Cultural and economic circumstances are amongst the two main contributing factors leading to gender-based violence,” she added. Jagger continued that the common belief of a woman subjected to a man’s authority leads to instances of unreported incidents of gender-based violence. She said education is one of the key agents of change to help break the cycle of violence amongst pupils and the community at large. “Violence in schools may be reasons for children absconding classes and high dropouts,” she said. Jagger also informed those present that bullied children and victims of violence are more likely to suffer from depression and likely engage in anti-social behaviour and criminal activities. In terms of the economic side, the deputy minister said lack of finance makes less fortunate people vulnerable to GBV. “Unemployment and poverty rushes women into the hands of men for financial gratification whom they don’t know their background or family history,” said Jagger.