Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) is a persistent challenge in Namibia, and we have seen an increase in the incidences of intimate-partner violence, sexual violence and femicide against women and girls. Between the period of September 2019 and September 2020, the Namibian Police recorded over 5 000 cases gender-based violence, 800 cases of rape and 74 femicides countrywide. This was revealed during an engagement meeting between the Ministry of Home Affairs, Immigration, Safety and Security, Gender, #shutitalldown protestors and key GBV stakeholders . 2020 started with a worldwide global COVID-19 pandemic that had countries experiencing massive socio-economic challenges. The pandemic worsened already existing challenges such as SGBV. Many countries reported increases in cases of GBV. The pandemic showcased the need for GBV service providers to become more pro-active, innovative, and collaborative in their efforts to curb and address GBV.
Service providers play a crucial role in preventing, mitigating, and responding to these high incidences of SGBV. These service providers are representative of Government Agencies, Development Partners, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), Private Sector and Media. We have seen government respond to the petition submitted after the countrywide wide protests stating among other measures, the need to strengthen the capacity, presence, and efficacy of Service Providers.
The overall goal of the public dialogues is to raise awareness on SGBV, explore potential preventative, response and mitigating strategies for service providers as well as decrease the gab between GBV service providers and communities.
The main objectives are to: