Relationship allowance debated at Namibia’s men’s conference

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Namibians have been reacting to a recommendation of the recent National Men’s Conference where what’s called a “girlfriend allowance” – a form of financial assistance some men provide to their partners – should no longer be seen as compulsory.

The conference, organised by the gender equality ministry, was aimed at tackling a host of issues including gender-based violence.

The chairperson opened the discussion on the girlfriend allowance asking: “Are we saying that we will not give girlfriend allowances?”.

This prompted one participant to say: “It should be according to what you can afford – but we can’t say ‘no girlfriend allowance’. That one would be selfish of us.”

The host concluded the discussion by instructing the panel to remove the word allowance from the recommendations, which received applause from several of the men in attendance.

Namibians on Twitter ridiculed that the allowance would even be discussed at the conference when the theme centred on ending male violence with one saying they were “dealing with pathetic issues”

Another insisted: “Men are also allowed to put themselves first.”

Journalist Koi Gouahinga joked that an international treaty should be drafted on the issue.

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