THERE IS A SAYING IN ENGLISH THAT GOES 'TIME AND TIDE WAITS FOR NOONE/WHEN WE STARTED WORKING ON THIS MAGAZINE VOLUME 31 # 1, IT WAS STILL JANUARY. WE HAVE JUST LEFT 2018 BEHIND US AND, LIKE SURFERS WE WERE WAITING THE NEXT WAVE IN TIME, 2019. BY THE TIME YOU ARE READING THIS, WE WILL BE WELL INTO THE YEAR AND ARE NOW PLANNING CELEBRATING AN IMPORTANT MILESTONE OF OUR OWN. YES, WE HAVE MADE IT!
When Namibia became independent in 1990, Sister Namibia already celebrated her first year of existence. She thereby became the big sister of the nation. So to speak. Planning for the future of Sister Namibia, we increasingly want to change the 'watch-dog' (or watch bitch) image to become a thorn in the side of the status quo. Now, who or what is the status quo whose side we intend to irritate so? Well, it would be all those structures, groups and individuals who through their customs and traditions, policies, actions, words and attitudes continue to relegate women to inferiority and inequality. We want to point out that 30 years and some after gaining independence and autonomy from an oppressive occupation, women in Namibia still are prevented from making autonomous decisions about their own fertility and reproduction.
We often are forbidden from even saying some words out loudly. We for instance shy away from openly saying the word 'abortion.' How can we even begin to address the issue of safe abortions when it is obvious that so-called backstreet abortions have serious legal and medical consequences for those women and girls who in their desperation might seek to terminate an unwanted or unplanned pregnancy? We are not even talking about the fact that the continued criminalisation of backstreet abortions is a serious public-health issue that burdens the country as a whole. Generally, we remain mum on this issue. We will be a thorn by doing our best to stop the stigma around our bodies.
We want to put an end to male sexual entitlement, associated with the sexual violence and abuse that women continuously are exposed to. We want to claim or reclaim public spaces which women and girls are barred from for fear--yes fear--of physical and sexual violence, harassment and diminishment by idiotic creeps.
We want to rant against all forms and manifestations of patriarchy that disempower all those who are considered 'other.' We want an end to men killing women and girls, for no other reason that their egos may have been tarnished supposedly provoked by the victims themselves.
We want to expose the bigotry and bias implicit in certain forms of clientele politics.
So here we are, at the big 3 and 0. Thirty years later. We presumably are living in a society where men and women can live together in the knowledge that those things that divided and separated us as a people, are now things of the past and that we are 'one Namibia, one nation.' At least we should give oneness a try. Shouldn't we?
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|Date:||Jan 1, 2019|
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