Category Archives: News

A few cents to Freedom

Financing yourself or your lifestyle after leaving an abusive relationship in which you were financially dependent on the abuser is key to not repeat g the cycle of abuse.
I grew up with a story at the back of my mind. This story shaped from a young age how I would view relationships with the opposite sex and most importantly choosing not to ever be in an abusive relationship.
This story was of a women who would take her two little daughters in the middle of the night and play hide and seek, she would tell them not to make a noise and hide behind various objects so they could not be found by the drunken boyfriend and get beaten up.
This is a story of how when she had a better income job, she would be asked (demanded to leave), because she “thought she was better than him”.
A story of being beaten and stabbed to almost bleeding out. Where fist fights were a regular thing in this “loving” relationship.
What stuck with me most about this story was its end. The women in the end, out of fear of her daughters’ lives, lied to her boyfriend that she was visiting an aunt for only a weekend and packed a bag (which he decided on the specifics of what should be packed), which she however secretly added a few more items to and left everything she owned (the shack they stayed in was hers, even most household items inside) and never returned.
After all the abuse she had endured for years, one day she had the courage to run and not look back.
This women was my mother, and I was one of the little girls she had to run with.
Now of course life after that wasn’t particularly easy for her, she wasn’t educated or had a job and she had to stay with her brother for a while, until eventually she pulled her life together.
My mother is the reason why I had to break the cycle of uneducation, and dependency.
Knowing what she went through and seeing what other women go through because they become economically dependent on their partners gave me an idea on how these women can leave and still survive.
Every victim of abuse needs a support system, most times that’s family and friends, but some of these women have been isolated from their support systems by their manipulative partners and when they need support there is no one they are close to that can help, because everyone else is estranged to them by then.
But as being part of a society, every victim should have someone or organisation to count on for rehabilitation and assistance.
Recently having attended the Financial Literacy’s event on Investing, got me thinking on a subject of “Saving your way out of an abusive relationship”.
The very first question that was asked was “Why Invest/Save?” And answers ranged from “Buying a house/car to creating wealth and saving for an education”, but after attending the whole talk afterwards I asked if they had trustfunds or group savings for women who wanted to leave an abusive relationship. Of course no such thing exists, this is a country where people won’t report a fight or intervene because “it’s a personal/private affair of a couple”.
It got me thinking about having an exit plan and being strategic in the next phase of your life. I have heard countless stories of women feeling disempowered to stay because “who will pay for her rent/provide for a roof over her and the children’s heads, who will pay for school fees, who will buy clothes or who will feed them” if they leave. I’ve heard “even if he beats her, at least he takes care of her”.
They’re pyochologically bullied to stay, because they see no way out.
Here is the thing, one could say, why doesn’t the women go to school or get a job (if she can), and those are good ideas but her acquiring a job would raise questions as to why she feels the need to contribute financially after all this time and after he already supplies for every other need (and might just cause further abuse), so every reduced blow to her body is a bonus chip, and we don’t want her being further victimised. So what can she do?
Financial dependency has been one of the key factors in GBV and Partner violence in Namibia.
Being economically independent empowers women to walk away much more easily from abusive relationships that they would have otherwise prolonged in fear of not knowing how to sustain themselves afterwards.
Hence women empowerment cannot be spoken about in isolation of economic development.
Can these women then not start a trustfund or a stokvel where they can put in small sums of money that will eventually help them stand on their feet when it’s time to flee?
Is the survival of post-abuse perhaps dependant on gradually saving your way out of these relationships.
Organisations and well wishers can also contribute to these savings group so that the burden can be lightened on the victims of our society.
Could the solution be planning for the escape with a few pennies at a time?
Could a few cents contribute towards freedom from being abused?
By Elsarien Katiti

4MY FUTURE – Talks ‘Teenage Pregnancy’

The show is a platform for teenagers where teenage pregnancy, social, cultural and modern matters that affect the physical and mental well being of teenagers can be addressed through various interactions conducted by studio guests.

4My Future Episode 1.1                            4My Future Episode 7.1

4My Future Episode 1.2                            4My Future Episode 7.2

4My Future Episode 2.1                            4My Future Episode 8.1

4My Future Episode 2.2                            4My Future Episode 8.2

4My Future Episode 3.1                            4My Future Episode 9.1

4My Future Episode 3.2                            4My Future Episode 9.2

4My Future Episode 4.1                            4My Future Episode 10.1

4My Future Episode 4.2                            4My Future Episode 10.2

4My Future Episode 5.1                            4My Future Episode 11.1

4My Future Episode 5.2                            4My Future Episode 11.2

4My Future Episode 6.1                            4My Future Episode 12.1

4My Future Episode 6.2                            4My Future Episode 12.2

4My Future Episode 13.1

4My Future Episode 13.2

 

 

International Women’s Day

Sister Namibia had the pleasure to help host the International Women’s Day conference at the Safari Hotel. This important conference included panelists and discussions about how women’s issues intersect with the media, youth empowerment, health, and more. The director of Sister Namibia, Vida de Voss, had the honor of speaking at the conference, pictured below.

Sister Namibia also created a space for conference attendees to stand up and pledge for parity!

 

 

 

March for Africa: Windhoek stands up for peace

Sister Namibia was proud to take part in the March for Africa in Windhoek today!
We joined a great number of people who committed their (working hour) morning to this peaceful demonstration against xenophobia. Together we marched from the Independence Memorial Museum up to the High Commission of the Republic of South Africa in Klein Windhoek, where we delivered a petition and an open letter to Pres. Jacob Zuma and all fellow Africans.
Sister Namibia underlines the message of today’s march: We want everyone to be able to live in peace, free from fear of being harmed. What happened in South Africa this past week is a cruel attack on all that we value: peace, unity, solidarity and the respect of diversity. We were happy to see so many people from Windhoek and around the world take a stand to hold up our values, chanting “One Africa, one nation” and “we want peace”.

 

 

March for AFRICA: SAY NO TO XENOPHOBIA

In light of the recent violent attacks taking place in South Africa, a group of Namibians will participate in a peaceful march on the 28th of April 2015 in the capital city – Windhoek. The March will take place from 09:00 to 11:00 on Tuesday next week and will start from the Independence Memorial Museum next to the Parliament Gardens, through to Robert Mugabe Avenue onto Sam Nujoma Drive and then following to Nelson Mandela Avenue. The ongoing violent Xenophobic attacks in South Africa is busy threatening the peace, stability and unity of Africa. Please make sure to join the team in marching against these brutal attacks to show your solidarity. Dress up in African Attire and please come and show your support!

March For Africa

One Year After Chibok Abduction in Nigeria

About one year ago, more than 200 young female students were abducted from the Government Girl’s Secondary School Chibok in Nigeria by armed men suspected to be Bokoharam Islamist terrorists. A year further, the girls are still missing. It is important that media organizations ensure that the issue receives the required publicity necessary to move the Nigerian government in bringing back our girls.

Press Release by the Nigerian Feminist Forum

Africans should stop the blame game

In line with the SADC Council of NGOs, Sister Namibia condemns the ongoing xenophobic attacks in South Africa. Every time a xenophobic attack breaks out in South Africa, the reason behind it is that foreigners take up their jobs. This is a rather weak excuse as these foreigners create their own job opportunities and are not employed by the SA government. This people saw business opportunities and invested in them. That is not taking away bread from South Africans. People are slaughtered, burned and stoned to death in a brutal and barbaric way by the same Africans who were assisted by other African countries during the long and hard liberation struggle against the colonial government. There is no justification for ending someone’s life just because they saw a business opportunity and grabbed it before anyone else did. The brutal killings of Africans by their fellow Africans is shocking to say the least as it was the same Africans who assisted each other in gaining independence from the colonial. There are a high number of South Africans residing and working in other African countries as well, but this brutality is not seen in other African countries so far. Nevertheless, the South African xenophobic attacks are slowly spilling over to other neighbouring countries.

Africans should unite and say no to Xenophobia. We want a United States of Africa, how can this become a reality if fellow Africans murder other Africans because of jobs?

SADC Council of NGOs Condemns Xenophobia