KEETMANSHOOP – Gender-based violence has wider implications for society, says the national coordinator for Namibian Men for Gender Justice (NMGJ), Junian Gaweseb.
“Apart from causing emotional/psychological damage to victims, GBV also has a negative financial impact on society at large,” said Gaweseb at a workshop on GBV held in Keetmanshoop.
He reckons that for every employed citizen imprisoned for committing crimes linked to gender-based violence, heavy financial implications can be attached.
“This implies one less taxpayer, one more prisoner has to be cared for by the authorities, one victim more needs medical and psychological treatment and in addition more dependants’ basic needs to be taken care of,” reasons Gaweseb.
He adds that their organisation wants to act on this in order to help the country cut down on social costs.
Gaweseb said that their primary purpose is to attract inputs and participation from stakeholders both in the private and public sector, non-governmental organisations and the bigger community in order to inform and solve gender- based violence issues.
He said that they, apart from engaging regional stakeholders, also conducted a national men’s conference towards the end of last year. “By means of soliciting various inputs we want to strengthen our strategic plan in order to realise our goal at the end,” said Gaweseb.
Citing the workplace and criminal justice as focus areas of their initiative, he furthermore explained that the idea is to create a “GBV-centric men’s wellness platform within the workplace setting, giving access to GBV and psychological intervention, prevention and treatment pathways”.
In terms of the criminal justice aspect, Gaweseb said the strategy is to “offer conciliatory and/or rehabilitative consultancy services to key GBV pressure points; police stations, custody, courts diversion programmes and/or correctional facilities”. Jennifer Smith, one of the participants described the workshop as very fruitful since she learned more on how to handle the physical and social issues emanating from gender-based violence.
“I furthermore now have a better understanding of how to help GBV victims and also how to assist the community in addressing it,” she added.
Smith stressed that most of the time it is the spiritual, physical, mental and emotional behaviours that drive people to substance abuse that can lead to gender-based violence.
The Namibian Men for Gender Justice Initiative originated in 2015 under the auspices of the Carmel Family and Empowerment Centre’s flagship Gender Services component as a specialised and standalone strategy.
It focuses exclusively on innovative reduction, prevention and/or intervention programmes through extensive collaborative actions geared towards solving the high prevalence of GBV in society.
The organisation’s long-term vision is to create a society of honour and respect for human life, human dignity and human rights through the application of gender justice.
2019-07-04 09:38:13 18 days ago