Gender-based violence (GBV) is generally accepted as one of the most urgent issues facing Namibian society and policymakers. Despite a raft of important and largely progressive legislative reforms – such as the Combating of Domestic Violence Act (2003) and the Combating of Rape Act (2000) – GBV remains a developing crisis in Namibia. Horrific acts of GBV are recounted on a daily basis in the country’s media. Almost all GBV cases target women and are perpetrated by men.
This Democracy Report briefing paper sets out the scene, makes clear the urgency and points to what needs to happen regarding the deepening GBV crisis. Authors Ndapwa Alweendo, Rakkel Andreas, and Deanna Rafla-Yuan address the policies and laws in place, outline the bottlenecks and impasses that have delayed effective action, and point out possible ways forward.
The authors understand violence as a masculine norm i.e. something that is considered natural for men and therefore a significant root cause for GBV in Namibia.