Peace to Namibia

By: Sister Namibia Intern Sonja Wiencke

The past weekend saw the grand celebration of Namibia’s 25th Independence Day – Celebrating 25 years of peace and stability. This is an impressive achievement on which we want to congratulate everyone involved.

But can we really be sure that every Namibian is at peace today?

Today is the 25th of March, the Orange Day. Since 2012, the 25th of every month is a day of remembrance of and action against violence against women and girls, in line with the UN Women campaign.banner3

While you are reading this, somewhere a woman or girl is experiencing violence from a boyfriend, husband, or other acquaintance. Globally, one in three women experiences violence within their lifetimes. Just last week, a UN report called violence against women a “global epidemic”.

In Namibia, violence against women and girls is sadly a daily reality, too. We can estimate that it is, based on 12 000 reported cases in 2010. No-one can exactly say how many women and girls are mistreated that way, because many cases never get reported. Victims are scared of making their situation even more dangerous by speaking to someone. Their fears are confirmed when we look at the number of women being murdered by a partner or acquaintance.

We can be proud that Namibia is a country at peace, both with other countries and with its citizens. But true peace encompasses more than that. True peace has to be guaranteed at people’s homes as well. Women and girls should be able to live a life free from fear of being mistreated, abused, beaten or murdered just because they are female.

As long as this is not the case, we will continue to raise awareness of this silent war against women every 25th day of the month. Join us and show your support by wearing something orange on that day!