History

Sister Namibia was founded in 1989 on the eve of national independence to give women a voice on the building of a democratic post-colonial society. For the first ten years, the main activity of the organisation was the production of Sister Namibia magazine. From 1999 onwards, we began to broaden our scope. We now engage in the fields of media, education, advocacy and cultural activity in order to promote women’s human rights and full equality in a world free from violence, discrimination and oppression.

Read Liz Frank and Elizabeth /Khaxas’ (former directors) article about Sister Namibia here.

Timeline 1989-2000

1989 to 1998
  • With Namibia on the road to independence a group of volunteers donated their time and skill to the production of the first issues of the Sister Magazine.
  • During this time Sister was edited by Estelle Cotzee, Jo Rogge and Joy Saman. With independence the rights of women were legally enshrined in the constitution and in 1997 the Married Persons Equality act was passed.
  • In 1993 Heindrich Boll generously bought the building that still acts as the offices for Sister Namibia.
1998-2005
  • In 1998 Liz Frank and Elizabeth Khaxas took the reins and ran Sister Namibia.
  • In 2001 Sister began receiving funding from HIVOS and in 2005 from the Royal Netherlands.
  • By the end of 2003 the staff of Sister included Ria Freeman as the outreach officer, assisted by Sofia Rietz, Linda Bauman as the receptionist, Ingrid Gertze as administration officer and Natasha Tibinyane as media officer.
  • In 2004 Johanna Eberenz joined the staff as a consultant later taking the permanent position of Bookkeeper.
  • In 2004 Dianne Hubbard was elected Board Chair and later featured on the cover of Sister Magazine for her work in gender advocacy. In the same year Sister launched the 50/50 Campaign!
  • In 2005 Sister Namibia birthed the Katutura Community Radio, which became Base F.M in 2010
  • In 2006 Ingrid Gertze took on the position of administration officer, Bertha Ushona became the receptionist and Chilombo Mwondela began work as the media officer. Sister began receiving funding from OSISA and in 2007 took support from the Embassy of Finland.

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2008- 2009
  • In 2008 the Rape Act was passed in Parliament and Sheena Magenya join the staff as the Media officer.
  • In 2008 and 2009 Sister received funding from OXFAM Canada, FAHAMU and the Dutch embassy.
  • In 2009 Erika Von Wietersheim began editing the Sister magazine as a consultant.
2010-2011
  • During 2010 Yasmine Agnew took the position of acting Director to be replaced by Magano Neri.
  • 2010 Leigh-Anne Agnew took on the position of Board Chair and Sister received funding from PEFAR and Olof Palme.
  • In 2011 Sister ran the 16 Days of Activism program in collaboration with the COTA Theatre School. In May a Young Feminist Camp was organised and run In Ongwediva. Staffing underwent change with the appointment of Laura Sassman as director and Roas Nikanor as the media officer. Within the office it became policy to allow Staff to bring their babies into work with them.
  • In 2011 Sister received funding from One World Action.
2012-2014
  • In 2012 Sister received funding from the African Women’s Development fund and the Child Act was passed in Parliament.
  • The 16 Days of Activism program took place in partnership with the COTA Theatre School, Goethe Centre and FNCC.
  • In 2013 Mimi Mwiya joined the Sister staff, Vida de Voss became the Director and Paleni Ammulungu took on the role of media officer
  • In June 2014, Sister Namibia celebrated 25 years.

Building the feminist movement in Namibia