By Jade McClune at Swakopmund
UNDER a veil of mist, close to one hundred women in black marched quietly on Saturday through the streets of Swakopmund in a somber protest vigil against the ongoing spate of violence against women and children in the country.
The march, which was joined by a few concerned men, started near the Oceanview Spar and worked its way through the main streets of the town and back to the newly renovated police station opposite the courthouse, where a vigil was held and songs sung to remember the victims of violence.
The event was organised by women at the town who were particularly incensed by the recent murder and virtual beheading of a woman at her home in Vineta by a partner. The murder of Lindie Prinsloo at the start of November sparked widespread outrage and calls for action to address the wider problem.
The march on Saturday was initiated by a concerned resident, Tasneem Ochs, who said it was the start of a new process of countrywide mobilisation against gender-based violence (GBV). “We are going to have a march each and every month and involve all town in Namibia,” she said.
She noted that many women in abusive relationships are afraid to talk about domestic violence and advised them to come out and talk to people. She said there were men who were also subject to domestic violence and abuse, and they want as many people to be involved in the campaign against gender-based violence as possible.
“Swakopmund constituency councilor Juuso Kambueshe told the mournful protesters: “I am ashamed to stand before you, because I am a man, and when any man does what has been done, of course as a man you have to be embarrassed, you have to be ashamed.
“You have to say it is disgusting to be a man. However, let us atone and start cooperating to have a cleaner society, one that is progressive-minded in the sense that we talk about these things openly.”
Some of the marchers were of the view that the courts should be stricter when considering bail for violent offenders. Others called for the institution of the death penalty for murderers. All were agreed that something must be done – and urgently.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015