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The caring Namibian man: a photographic experience; Over the past few months, the Namibian press has been filled with reports on violent acts such as rape and domestic violence, almost always perpetrated by men.

We all know that men neglect, rape and murder women and children--statistics can be battering. However, reiterating those facts will not create enough opportunities for change and growth. The media tend to depict violence as a criterion of masculinity; love and care as a weakness. It is time to reverse this image and present a positive, caring Namibian man to the public.

To this end, Ombetja Yehinga Organisation and Voluntary Service Overseas launched a photographic project, involving young Namibian men. A team of 12 facilitators were trained in basic photographic technique, gender and masculinity. They returned to their regions, including Kunene, Caprivi, Kavango, Ohangwena, Oshana and Khomas regions, and trained other young men. 100 disposable cameras were distributed all over the country. 49 amazing photographs were selected as the basis for this exhibition.

'The caring Namibian man', showing images taken by young men of role models in their lives, reveals a more human, compassionate and sensitive Namibian man. It gives graphic expression to the possibilities and challenges of men's closer engagement with children and women. It attempts to break gender stereotypes that trap men and women in sexual roles that put women at risk of violence, unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases, and that trap fathers and children in social roles that put children at risk of abuse and violence. It gives space for men, women and children to reflect on notions of masculinity and femininity in the local Namibian context.

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The exhibition was launched in Windhoek in November 2005 during the 16 Days of No Violence Campaign, and will tour the country in 2006, to ensure that the public at large benefits from this extraordinary collection of portraits.
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:GENDER VIOLENCE
Publication:Sister Namibia
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:6NAMI
Date:Dec 1, 2005
Words:281
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