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Erongo Governor Neville Andre says despite commendable achievements in human rights and gender equality, Namibia still faces persistent challenges in terms of gender-based violence.

At least 32% of Namibian women are said to have experienced physical violence at the hands of an intimate partner at some point.

To remedy the situation, Andre plans to establish a regional gender-based violence (GBV) task team with different stakeholders on board.

Andre says GBV is the most pervasive yet least visible human rights violation in the world.

It includes physical, sexual, mental, or economic harm inflicted on a person because of socially-ascribed power imbalances between males and females.

It also includes the threat of violence, coercion, and deprivation of liberty, whether in public or private.

In all societies, he says, women and girls have less power than men over their bodies, decisions, and resources.

Social norms that condone men's use of violence as a form of discipline and control reinforce gender inequality and perpetuate gender-based violence. Across the globe, women and girls, especially adolescents, face the greatest risks.

Data from the Namibian police show that more than 10,000 gender-based violence-related cases were reported in the 2021–2022 financial year, the majority of which were perpetrated by men against women.

Failure to address these issues could have serious consequences for society, Andre says.

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Stefan |Uirab