Ladies and Gentle men of the media,
Comrades and friends
RDP members here present,
As per chapter 20 of the RDP constitution article 119, RDP women’s league has been meeting here in Windhoek for the past 2 days to review, plan and strategize the best activities to mobilize and to rally the women of Namibia behind the RDP. As you are all aware, RDP women’s League has been disquietingly silent and dormant. During our deliberations for the past two days, we have decided that we will shake this country by making sure that the women of this country are properly mobilized and made conscious of their fundamental human rights to life and to participate fully in the political arena of our country.
While our discussions were broad and wide such that we had to touch on contemporary issues affecting our country, such as unemployment, teenage pregnancies, school dropouts for the girl child, lack of decent housing, the effect of hunger and drought, we wish to pay special focus on Violence against women and children.
Currently, Namibia is experiencing a negative scourge of violence against women and children. On a daily bases, one hears and, or reads a woman is being killed by her boyfriend or husband. Baby dumping on the other hand is also increasing tremendously.
While Namibia praises itsself as a Christian Nation, the spate of violence against women and children has escalated to unacceptable proportions. As a result, RDP Women’s League is calling upon all women of Namibia to stand up for their rights and stop the killing, raping and abusing of women and children. Time is now that we as women stop the rot. Deviant behavior and moral decay prevalent in our society must be stopped if we are to save lives of women and children.
RDP Women’s League is calling upon the Namibian Government and in particular those who are fellow women leaders to review the policies governing rape, murder, and child abuse etc. Bail conditions must be reviewed and stiff sentences must be applied in cases of violence against women and children. The effectiveness of protection orders must also be reviewed because many women are murdered while under Protection Order. We furthermore call on the Namibian Government to consider the introduction of compensation for families who lose their loved ones. Such compensation must be carefully considered and used as an act of empathy and deterrent from the side of the Government, rather than as a scheme for income for victims’ family. Life must begin to gain its actual value, unlike today when life is equal to nothing. Many a times, murderers are given bail as if they have just slaughtered a goat to eat.
We also call upon the Namibian society to review our social norms and values of self respect as it was our tradition and cultures. Today, killing of women and baby dumping are too common since the murderers often serve a few years in prison and get released only to kill again. Parents must play a significant role in parenting the girl child to believe in herself and not to accept slavery treatment like from men. A girl child must be made to understand that they are as important as boy child. A girl child is no less human than the boy child. NBC on their part, as a public broadcaster must popularize that the life of a woman and a child is as precious as per the provisions of the constitution and nobody other than God himself should dare to take that precious life away.
Having stated the above, the RDP Women’s League is thefore calling on the government to implement the stringent measures to address the issues affecting women through Education and training on conflict resolution, decision making and identify realistic skills both at public and family level
I thank you.
Deputy Secretary for RDP women’s League.