Like many countries, Namibia struggles to respond to cases of violence against women and children due to a lack of trained workers, inappropriate response strategies, or a lack of community knowledge about human rights.
The case for women and children is worse in informal settlements where service provision and general extension of Namibia’s women and child protection services are not available. Many enacted laws and initiatives are showing effectiveness but do not get to hard-to-reach areas like informal settlements.
Informal settlements (slums) are a major issue in Namibia. The capital Windhoek and nearby towns are surrounded by communities that migrate from rural areas, in the north and south of the country, in search of better employment opportunities and access to basic services. They build makeshift homes, creating slums with extremely precarious living conditions.
Our project targets 4,650 women and girls, men and boys, and community leaders living in the slums of Khomas, Hardap and Otjozondjupa.
Its overall objective is to promote the defence of women and children’s rights and ensure that these rights are respected. Specifically, it aims to strengthen protection and violence prevention systems in the slums, promote safety and combat gender-based violence, empower women and girls, and provide support to victims of violence.
Another important component of this project is to educate men and boys to become advocates for the rights of women and girls as well as agents of change in their communities.
The project seeks to work with existing structures, most especially action and proposed activities contained in the National Plan of Action (NPA) on Gender Based Violence 2019-2023. And, more specifically, three of the four action areas of the NPA: Survivors first, Safety Net and Community Care, and Transforming Gender Norms for Long Term Prevention.
This program is co-funded by the European Union.