This weekend marked the successful conclusion of the first Sanlam Men’s Conference 2022, with over 1 000 attendees. The aim of the conference was to create a platform at which the topic of gender-based violence which has far-reaching implications could be discussed by men who are viewed as part and parcel of the problem and the solution. “The highly positive response demonstrates that gender-based discrimination and violence affect Namibians of all cultures and classes,” stated Denille Roostee, Sanlam’s Marketing and Communication Manager. To mitigate the capacity constraints which saw many people unable to enter the venue, the conference was also broadcasted using livestreaming on different social media platforms. “We are glad that we could contribute in some little way to the creation of a platform alongside our co-sponsors and the Ministry of Information, Technology, and Communication’s Nationhood and National Pride program,” Roostee said.
Gender-based violence is a violation of human rights, but it also has broader implications for development. According to the World Bank, the economic consequences of lost productivity due to domestic violence range from 1.2 to 2% of GDP. Gender inequality, power abuse, and detrimental norms all contribute to it. One in every three women, according to estimates, will face sexual or physical violence.
During times of displacement and crisis, the threat of GBV increases significantly for both men and women, girls and boys. Gender-based violence can result in both public and private sexual, physical, emotional, and financial harm. Violence threats, coercion, and manipulation are also mentioned. Intimate relationship violence, sexual violence, child marriage, female genital mutilation, and so-called “honour crimes” are all examples of GBV.
Emotional, financial, and verbal abuse are among the least discussed yet most damaging forms of abuse. Emotional abuse affects self-esteem and has a detrimental impact on an individual’s confidence. Sanlam in its statement said the company stands for “living with confidence”, which is why efforts like these are closely related to what their brand stands for.