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Chairperson's note.

MY BODY IS NOT YOUR PLAY FIELD

THE FEMALE BODY HAS BEEN OBJECTIFIED FOR VARIOUS PURPOSES, TURNING IT INTO A PLAYFIELD. WHEN RETAILERS PUT A PRODUCT IN THE MARKET, WHETHER IT'S A NEW CAR, COOL DRINK, CAR PARTS, PERFUME, THE FEMALE BODY WILL BE USED AS A MARKETING TOOL. These adverts portray sexually appealing images of female nudity in revealing outfits and postures. In most instances the product that is for sale has nothing to do with the nude female image on display. However, such images objectify the female body and emphasize stereotype that the female body can be used for pleasures.

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The objectification of the female body is also visible when a society wants to uphold its culture and reaffirm its identity, as it is the practice during the Olufuku in northern Namibia among the Aawambo people, Ovahimba and other Northern communities that adheres to this custom. It is the female body that is on display, bear breast and short traditional skirts. This is done under the disguise of Namibia reclaiming its cultural renaissance.

Similarly, in some of the African countries, such as Cameroon, Chad, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Niger and Nigeria, etc. were Female Genital Mutilation is the norm, this practice is used to ensure virginity before marriage and fidelity afterward. Female genital mutilation entails piercing, cutting, removing, or sewing closed all or part of a girl's or women external genitals for no medical reason. The virginity test is a practice that is still common in many parts of the world; this test only applies to women. This test requires women to ensure that they are virgins and that they can only lose their virginity to their husbands.

As much as there is all this control over the female body, when women want to asserts themselves by wearing miniskirts, sheer dresses and hot pants, they are accused of enticing men, and thus increase incidences of rape. The police are therefore instructed to arrest women who are found to be dressing scantily, and these are considered "anti-rape" strategies.

Given all this social cultural patterns that objectify the female body, what POWER is the women having to control, exercise authority and autonomy over her own body.

Women must become more aware of their bodies, of what pleasures they can derive from their bodies to satisfy themselves. The beauty that has been allocated to the female body; women must embrace that beauty and ensure that is works for them.

Women have the right to decide how they want to dress their bodies, that is not the decision of any other person's authority to make.

As for female sexuality and the control over the female body, when, how and with whom a woman wants to have sex is purely their prerogative.

I would like to urge women to love every inch of their bodies, irrespective of body size, level of deterioration as a result of aging, irrespective of skin color and number of stretch marks.

These are our bodies to uphold, love and honor!!!

And please women, make sure that the person who shares your body with you does so out of Love and Honor.

I would like to leave this note with a message that we should revive the Abortion debate and each woman must add her voice to that debate.

MS. IMMACULATE MOGOTSI

SISTER NAMIBIA BOARD OF TRUSTEES CHAIRPERSON
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Author:Mogotsi, Immaculate
Publication:Sister Namibia
Article Type:Column
Geographic Code:6NAMI
Date:Jan 1, 2017
Words:562
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