Protest against homophobic domestic violence bill

17 March 2021 | Crime

Windhoek • [email protected]

The justice ministry is under pressure to tweak an amended domestic violence bill to ensure protection for all victims of domestic violence despite the gender of their abusive partner.
A petition demanding equal access to justice and protection for all Namibians from violent partners is slowly gathering momentum with protests planned for next month.
The petition, titled #EqualProtectionNamibia demands that government removes the phrase “being of different sexes” included in the combating of domestic violence amendment bill tabled last month by justice minister Yvonne Dausab.
Florence /Khaxas of the Y-Fem Namibian Trust says in addition to the petition, the organisers are also planning peaceful protests at Windhoek, Walvis Bay, Gobabis and Keetmanshoop.
“We are calling on Namibians to share their realities of why it is important for the language of the Combating of domestic violence amendment bill to be changed as currently it violates the constitution.”
She highlights that the lack of equal protection for couples in same-sex relationships was highlighted by the United Nations Human Rights Committee in 2016. The committee at the time stressed that same-sex relationships should be included in the amended combating of domestic violence act.
Shortly after Dausab tabled the bill before parliament on 18 February, a ruckus erupted on the bill’s discrimination against individuals who are in same-sex partnerships and, by way of the phrase “different sexes”, excluded from protection in the bill.

“Regardless of the attitudes of individual members of parliament about same-sex relationships, it is shocking that parliament is unwilling to extend the act’s protection against domestic violence to same-sex couples,” the Legal Assistance Centre (LAC) said at the time.
LAC’s Dianne Hubbard said the simple step of removing the phrase would ensure protection for all. She also stressed that the LAC supports the amendment bill in general, but was shocked that “parliament is unwilling to extend the act’s protections against domestic violence to same-sex couples.”
She noted that the widely held anti-LGBTQ stance in parliament should have no bearing on tweaking the bill.
“It would not, as some believe, have any bearing on same-sex marriage, since the law covers married and unmarried persons. The phrase appears only in respect of romantic relationships and persons who cohabit. Nothing would change regarding marriage. So it should not even be controversial.”
Hubbard underlined that refusing to extend protection under the amended law to persons in same-sex relationships undermines the constitutional rights that all persons are equal before the law.
“The law as it stands suggests that some people are more worthy of protection from violence than others. This is why I believe it is unconstitutional.”

No comment
To date, the justice ministry has declined to comment on the criticism and concerns of the inherent discrimination against the LGBTI community contained in the bill.
At the tabling of the bill, justice minister Dausab underlined that domestic violence and discrimination against women and children has reached alarming levels.
She stressed that Namibia’s constitution “guarantees not only the equality of all persons, irrespective of sex, before the law, but it also provides for freedom from discrimination.”
In April 2019, Dausab, then the chairperson of the Law Reform and Development Commission (LRDC), spoke about the shortcomings of Namibia’s legislative frameworks pertaining to equal rights under the law for LGBTI plus communities in Namibia.
At a roundtable discussion hosted by the Office of the Ombudsman on sexual orientation and gender identity, she said there are “glaring exclusions” in the country’s legislative framework that limits adequate safeguards to protect the LGBTI community.
She warned that “because the protection is not there,” it opens the door for discrimination, victimisation and vilification to LGBTI persons.

Similar News


Watch out for scammers, NamPol warns

2 days ago - 17 June 2021 | Crime

Namibian Police Force (NamPol) spokesperson, Deputy Commissioner Kauna Shikwambi, cautioned government employees to be on the alert for a scam operated by people pretending to...

GBV prevention in the spotlight

1 week ago - 10 June 2021 | Crime

The Ministry of Gender Equality, Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare on Wednesday began with three days of training for its male staff members and members...

Police being sued for infant’s death

1 month - 10 May 2021 | Crime

Windhoek • [email protected] bereaved family whose one-month-old son allegedly died in the back of a police van last month as a result of reckless and...

Campaigning for counselling

1 month - 21 April 2021 | Crime

Members of Parliament (MPs) have proposed compulsory counselling and psychological support for victims, perpetrators or anyone exposed to gender-based violence to end the cycle of...

Multi-million mask deal goes sour

1 month - 20 April 2021 | Crime

Windhoek • [email protected] Chinese owned tobacco company are suing to reclaim more than N$6 million they say was lost when a deal to buy 440...

Educate children on their rights - Husselman

2 months ago - 18 April 2021 | Crime

Children’s advocate Ingrid Husselmann said having a good legal framework for child protection is not enough in Namibia and more needs to be done to...

Khomasdal residents view NamPol with suspicion

2 months ago - 23 March 2021 | Crime

Vice chairperson of the Khomasdal Extension 3 neighbourhood watch, Hilma Iita, said residents do not trust the Namibian Police Force (NamPol) anymore, because “some members...

CoTA students protest against harassment

3 months ago - 16 March 2021 | Crime

College of the Arts (CoTA) students in Katutura on Monday held a peaceful protest against alleged sexual harassment of female students by mechanics working at...

Reho school fire being investigated

3 months ago - 14 March 2021 | Crime

NamPol at Rehoboth are investigating the cause of the fire that extensively damaged a block at the Rehoboth High School on Thursday night.In a police...

The numbers don't lie

3 months ago - 19 February 2021 | Crime

Windhoek • [email protected] magistrate’s courts registered more than 6 300 domestic violence applications over the past three years, in addition to over 5 000 interim...

Latest News

Are you being overcharged?

1 day - 18 June 2021 | Opinion

Windhoek • Marvin DanielsIt’s been more than a year since Namibia reported its first confirmed Covid-19 positive case in March 2020. Since then, the pandemic...

Charcoal activities unleash large-scale bush...

2 days ago - 17 June 2021 | Agriculture

Windhoek • [email protected] bush fires allegedly sparked by charcoal burning operations have razed around 35 000 hectares of grassland to the ground across seven farms...

Beatrice, Christine readying for Tokyo

2 days ago - 17 June 2021 | Sports

Henk Botha, coach of Namibia’s fastest female sprinters Beatrice Masilingi and Christine Mboma, said the athletes are hopeful of reaching their set targets before travelling...

ECDs at schools shut down

2 days ago - 17 June 2021 | Education

The Ministry of Gender Equality, Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare has temporarily closed early childhood development centres (ECDs) operating within formal school premises countrywide, due...

More vaccination, testing centres on...

2 days ago - 17 June 2021 | Health

Khomas governor Laura McLeod-Katjirua said additional vaccination and testing centres would be identified in the region in a bid to bring services closer to the...

Watch out for scammers, NamPol...

2 days ago - 17 June 2021 | Crime

Namibian Police Force (NamPol) spokesperson, Deputy Commissioner Kauna Shikwambi, cautioned government employees to be on the alert for a scam operated by people pretending to...

Melkies tests Tesla in Germany

3 days ago - 16 June 2021 | Business

The founder and owner of LEFA Transportation Services test-drove the future of transportationwhen he cruised around in a Tesla in Germany recently.Melkies Ausiku has long...

Second Online Agriculture Series on...

3 days ago - 16 June 2021 | Agriculture

Bank Windhoek hosts its second Online Agriculture Series on Wednesday and Thursday (23 & 24 June) themed “Innovation and Trends that will shape the future...

NMRC warns against ivermectin use

3 days ago - 16 June 2021 | Health

Namibian Medicines Regulatory Council (NMRC) Registrar, Johannes Gaeseb, said the use of ivermectin in human beings has not yet been registered or granted authorisation in...

Load More