FIRST LADY Monica Geingos says rape should be called by its name – regardless of the survivor’s gender.
This comes after a media report of a 35-year-old man who allegedly had anal sex with a 17-year-old boy while threatening him with a knife.
The police report stated that it was a case of rape.
“It is not sexual intercourse, it is rape. We must start calling these things what they are,” she says.
Geingos, who recently spoke at the sexual and reproductive health rights and social enterprise awards in Windhoek, also condemned the idea that reproductive health promotes sex and abortion.
“There are people who get angry when you speak about these topics . . . No, reproductive help is about safe pregnancies, it is about preventing unwanted pregnancies, it is about reducing mortality in pregnancy [and] infant mortality,” she said.
She said the controversy around these topics threatens the lives of young people.
In 2020, some top church leaders and lawmakers were discontent with a workshop on sexual health and reproductive rights which was organised by the parliament for members of the National Assembly.
Screenshots of a conversation on social media indicated that the former Council of Churches of Namibia secretary general Maria Kapere, minister in the presidency Christine //Hoëbes, Swapo backbencher Margaret Mensah-Williams, and Popular Democratic Movement parliamentarian Elma Dienda discussed the topics.
According to this, they believed the workshop was purely about abortion and LGBTQI+ rights, which was why they planned to stay away from the workshop.
To address this risk, Geingos said the parliament would offer a range of courses for young people at a state-of-the-art multipurpose centre.
She said there are parents who struggle to understand their children, including herself.
“Even I need that course. Many of us are struggling with connecting, understanding and confiding in each other as parent and child. There will be a course like that,” she said.
She bemoaned the limited support young people struggling with substance abuse receive.
“Even less assistance for their families . . . One of the many reasons why we have low conviction rates in cases of sexual violence is because substances were involved, and it becomes difficult to process the case,” she said.
Moreover, the first lady said young people use the little they have to make a difference, emphasising their spirit of volunteerism.
“We are tired of repeating the same words and statistics. Now is the time to do it,” she said.
During the event, deputy minister of information and communication technology Emma Theofelus received a 2022 United Nations Population Award.
Theofelus received the award for her work advocating women’s empowerment and adolescent sexual and reproductive health in Namibia.
The UN Population Awards have honoured individuals and institutions for their outstanding contributions to population, development and reproductive health since 1983.