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Unravelling Taboos: Gender and Sexuality in Namibia.

Edited by Suzanne LaFont and Dianne Hubbard

The wide-ranging, insightful and provocative collection of chapters in this volume makes academic research available to any reader interested in the dynamics of gender and sexuality in Namibia today. Nineteen essays by prominent academics and analysts seek to unravel the misconceptions, stereotypes and taboos surrounding the concepts of gender equality, sexuality and sexual rights in Namibia.


The six sections of the book deal with History: Colonialism, Christianity and Tradition; Legal issues: Inequality and Law Reform; Youth, Gender and Sexuality; Reproduction and Marriage; HIV/AIDS: Gender and Survival; and Gender, Sexuality and Power.

Quotes from the book

"One sex worker in Katima Mulilo says that ... she will have sex without a condom after negotiating a higher price. It is chilling to think that clients are willing to pay more for unprotected sex--in essence, they are paying more to get HIV."--D. LeBeau

"The pastor said, 'You know as you are sitting here that there are women who have relationships with married men; some of you have even stolen money from your madams ... but you sit here with the difficulty that lesbians have relationships with each other ... but those people have been created by God ...'."--E. IKhaxas

"People from the earlier era were in some ways more enlightened than people today. Most children had involved themselves in sexual games that were played before puberty and, hence, could not lead to pregnancy. These games were a safe way to discover sex and parents would often cast a blind eye on them."--P. Talavera

"A male community worker explained, 'Children who have been sexually molested are treated like people with leprosy. They suffer stigma. They are isolated in the community as if they are guilty.'"--R. Jewkes, H. Rose-Junius, L. Penn-Kekana

"A similarity between Afrikaner and Owambo men was the consistent use of the analogy "men are hunters". They use this analogy as a way of expressing their sexual desires, sexual pursuits, and sexual conquests."--S. Wise

This book was published by, and is available from, the Gender Research and Advocacy Project of the Legal Assistance Centre. For more information contact Naomi Kisting, Tel 223356,

Sister Namibia Resource Centre

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Article Details
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Publication:Sister Namibia
Article Type:Book review
Date:Mar 1, 2007
Previous Article:The Invisible Woman, Zara Schmelen, African Mission Assistant at the Cape and in Namaland, by Ursula Truper.
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