Gender-based violence: victims, activism and Namibia's dual justice systems

Mukungu, Kate ORCID logo ORCID: and Kamwanyah, Ndumba J. (2020) Gender-based violence: victims, activism and Namibia's dual justice systems. In: Tapley, Jacki and Davies, Pamela, (eds.) Victimology: research, policy and activism. Palgrave Macmillan, London, UK, pp. 81-114.

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This chapter examines the two separate justice systems Namibia inherited at the point of independence in 1990. This country’s dual justice systems are outlined: the formal statutory system and an informal or traditional system. The authors explain that, in a bid to protect its traditions and customary law, the constitution now recognises both systems, making improving the response to women violated by GBV challenging. Victims of GBV may encounter either the criminal or traditional justice system, or neither, according to, inter alia, local conventions. A coalition against gendered and sexual violence is discussed and their multi-media campaigning, which encompasses a variety of activities and events including a ‘Mini-Skirt’ protest, marches and vigils. The authors explore how activists have been important in advocating for such improvements and highlight where responses have fallen short. Moreover, the authors argue that implementing justice in Namibia cannot be effectively understood based on European norms, but by comprehending the legacy of colonialism and colonial law, and the challenges of maintaining the connection between the modern state and traditional community law.

Item Type: Book Section
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
ISBN: 9783030422882
Departments: Institute of Business, Industry and Leadership > Policing and Criminology
Depositing User: Christian Stretton
Date Deposited: 24 Feb 2020 11:17
Last Modified: 11 Jan 2024 16:32


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