Category Archives: Sister’s Blog

Bleeding from the vagina

Let me paint a picture.
Two people are seated from across the room debating about the importance of providing free pads to girls in school.
One is defending it the other is so uncomfortable to even hear the word menstruation.
It’s been ten minutes and in that short time, across the country. Over a hundred school girls over bled on their school skirts.
So they are seated in classrooms with bloody skirts. Shy to ask permission to leave the class bloodied.
So they are praying for the class period to be over, to go home or run to the bathroom.
But after that class there is another class coming in, and these girls still have to wait for their whole class to leave before they can get up.
Whatever clothe they were using is fully soaked and just because her skirt is bloody doesn’t mean the blood will stop flowing soon. Even if they go to the toilet or home, blood will still be flowing down their legs.
The blood does not stop flowing!
It doesn’t matter whether you are uncomfortable with the term ‘menstruation’ or ‘bleeding from the vagina’, the reality is thousands of girls do not have hygienic, medically approved menstrual products to use.
So to all of us, let us stop being comfortable and using politically correct terminology and get up and do something about it.
Let’s fight for the provision of free pads to girls in Namibia!
We can make this happen.
Let us support initiatives that provide pads to girls (like the SisterPads)

Until we have girls who’s skirts are blood stained because they have nothing to use, we can’t not fight, we can’t get comfortable.
The blood does not stop flowing.
By Elsarien Katiti

Female Presidency in Namibia: Analyzing the Narrative

It is quite evident that the women presidency fever has emerged and now has a tight grip over the political scene in South Africa, and one can also observe that majority of the ANC’s structures are also heeding to the call. It wouldn’t be that farfetched to say that one can hear a mumble between certain individuals in Swapo, and certain publications trying to develop the exact narrative. However within Swapo, the culture of silence and fear for prejudice holds back the views of those that believe in the cause.
One needs to understand that within many political organizations, women had to fight tooth and nail against the male dominated structures enable to break ranks. Namibia has seen the rise of women in key positions and leaders of government business. It is also observable that Namibia possesses a caliber of women that can lead the country; however the sphere of full bright politics always taken its toll. In the Namibian context, an error made by the establishment was to hire somewhat capable executives to take up presidential advisory roles; the thought was admirable however these executives do not possess the skills to deal with full bright politics. We can define full bright politics, as the process where different political elements such as factionalism, contemporary issues and certain acts determine the political landscape. Why is this analogy important? It plays into the notion that one can’t simply, but must look for individuals that pass through the eye of the needle criteria.

The Narrative
The existing narrative is that women must come and fix what men have broken. In times of need many look to women leaders to come in as unifying candidates to come and unite the political organization and the country. a reality that we must accept in the Namibian context is that the country is divided on whether President Dr.Hage Geingob is delivering and whether he should get a second term, this scenario is accommodating the call for a woman to take over the reins at next congress. The Swapo party women’s league has also made it clear that they will back any female candidate for presidency; this notion by the women’s league is highly flawed. It might come to the point where any female candidate avails herself; however that candidate might not be well placed for presidency. The women’s league needs to focus on ensuring that the crème de la crème of available women leaders get into positions. The women’s league might justify their position by playing the “Women have been marginalized” card. We recognize that women have had their disadvantage share of oppression and unfair inclusion. However this argument still doesn’t justify the need for “any” kind of female leadership. Those that back the narrative of women’s leadership, make it difficult for themselves as they complicate the process of sensitizing the masses.
In RSA, it is easy for one to support Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma in her verge to cling the hot seat, because she speaks out on issues, she let’s known her belief and perspective on many contemporary political issues. One might not always agree with her views, but the fact that she allows one the opportunity to analyze it plays in her favor. On the other hand in Namibia, it becomes very difficult for one to rely on existing women leaders in the establishment, as they are rather num on issues that require their perspective.
It is easy for one to say that they are maneuvering strategically, however the political dynamics have changed as more conscientious and academically oriented youth challenge the establishment. The harm of this perceived “maneuvering strategically” is that only when it is time to tally up to the masses, is when we get to hear the views of these leaders, furthermore one can also analyze that one can’t then take them seriously because at this stage their views are very much systematic and agenda driven.
Mitigating the political sphere
Women leaders in Namibia and around the world owe it to themselves to remain defiant and resist being used in the name of “it is time for female presidency’. For us as Namibians to start taking grip of the possibility of Women Presidency, we need start hearing independent views and perspectives of women leaders in and out of the establishment; it sets the platform for much needed growth of women within the country. When one observes at how revolutionaries embark on change and sensitization, the simple answer is that they let their perspective be known, an engage all forms of criticism on it. Independent perspective development allows one the opportunity to be critical on an intellectual level, and it gives the gallant masses the platform to engage purposefully, this is the kind of growth that the women presidency narrative needs.
It would be easy for die-hard feminists and Feminist radical sympathizers to allude that this opinion piece diminishes the image of women and further intelligently marginalizes them, however from an intellect perspective, this opinion piece looks at factors that influence and hamper the growth of women leadership, and how women can spearhead their own growth in a just and independent manner.

By Dylan Mukoroli
Managing partner at Social Chapter Consulting

Eric Schneiderman on Women’s Rights: In His Own Words

By Austin Ramzy
May 8, 2018
Before his abrupt resignation Monday after four women accused him of physical assault, Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman of New York cultivated an image as an advocate for women.
Here are some of his own recent comments about gender equality, abortion rights, and sexual harassment and assault.
Violence against women ‘prevalent and dangerous’
On the 20th anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act in 2014, Mr. Schneiderman said that despite legislation, threats to women’s physical safety remained a problem across the country.
He said in a written statement:
“Twenty years ago today, President Bill Clinton signed into law the Violence Against Women Act, a major milestone in our nation’s efforts to prevent violence against women and help the victims of such reprehensible acts. But two decades later, despite the significant protections established under VAWA, recent events have shone necessary light on the fact that violence against women remains a prevalent and dangerous problem across our nation. Basic safety is not a privilege: It is a fundamental right. Protecting all Americans from harm, regardless of their relationship to their abuser or their gender, is and will remain one of the most important aspects of our ongoing pursuit of equal justice under law.”
Support for victims of domestic violence
Mr. Schneiderman’s office published a brochure to inform victims of domestic violence of their rights under state and federal law.
In announcing an updated brochure in 2016, he said:
“We’ve made tremendous progress protecting victims of domestic violence through enhanced legal protections and enforcement actions. Yet this month, we must recognize that our work keeping New Yorkers safe from domestic violence is far from over.
“We know that domestic violence victims are often some of the most vulnerable residents of our state. Our hope is that our enforcement actions, as well as our education and outreach efforts, will assist domestic violence victims to escape the violence they face at the hands of their abusers and assist them in building safe, productive lives.”
Honored for abortion rights advocacy
On May 1, Mr. Schneiderman was honored by the National Institute for Reproductive Health at its annual Champions of Choice luncheon. “If a woman cannot control her body, she is not truly equal,” he said.
He added:
“The federal government has been taken over by anti-choice and anti-women extremists. We need to reimagine the pro-choice movement and build a stronger, louder movement for women’s freedom and equality than we’ve ever seen. Movement politics is not the politics of accommodation, it is the politics of perseverance.”
Health care cuts ‘oppress and disempower women’
Mr. Schneiderman was a vocal supporter of the Affordable Care Act, and he saw his defense of President Obama’s policy to expand health care coverage as a protection of women’s rights.

He told GQ magazine last year:
“It’s important to keep in mind that in one respect the health care fight is part of a wider effort by radical conservatives to oppress and disempower women. Denying women access to contraception and abortion services is a critical part of the larger machinery of oppression, discrimination, and violence against women and it’s incumbent on all of us to fight.”
Pursuit of Harvey Weinstein
After the Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein was accused of sexual misconduct by dozens of women, Mr. Schneiderman filed a lawsuit against Mr. Weinstein, his brother, Bob, and their studio. “We have never seen anything as despicable as what we’ve seen right here,” Mr. Schneiderman said in announcing the civil rights suit.
He said at a news conference:
“Our investigation uncovered a pervasive pattern of sexual harassment, intimidation, discrimination and abuse at the Weinstein Company. Women were coerced into facilitating Harvey Weinstein’s misconduct. Sometimes they were targets themselves. If they refused they were threatened with insults. Their careers were threatened. They were threatened with physical intimidation and violence.”
He added:
“The board and management knew all of this. They knew how pervasive it was, and not only did they fail to stop it, they enabled it and covered it up.”
Praise for reporting that inspired #MeToo
Last month, after Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey of the The New York Times and Ronan Farrow of The New Yorker were awarded the Pulitzer Prize in public service for their reporting on Harvey Weinstein, Mr. Schneiderman praised their work in a tweet.

Without such reporting, “and the brave women and men who spoke up about the sexual harassment they endured at the hands of powerful men — there would not be the critical national reckoning underway,” he wrote.

Why Men Grope Women Culture, sex, and projective identification explain groping.

This was a repost on groping and public harassment of women. After a Fox Sports reporter Maria Fernanda Mora was groped by a man on live television, during an interview.
We wanted to understand why this still happens.
This post is not meant to justify harassment against women, but to look at a psychological reason of why it happens.

Here are three reasons men grope women.

The first is cultural conformity. By culture, I mean the implicit and explicit rules of conduct that will generate approval and avoid disapproval. When a man gropes (or otherwise assaults or harasses) a woman for cultural reasons, it means that the reward sought is not so much the physical contact with the woman but the approval of others for doing so.
A cultural explanation would also include the relevance to the man of inducing the woman not to dress or behave in certain ways. News stories of men in other countries attacking women in public for wearing Western garb may fit this model.
In many parts of America, cultural rules strengthen the patriarchy and the privileges of maleness by defining men as free agents and women as property. Hitting on women may be rewarded by cheers from other men. As other men have reported, I’ve never heard anything in a locker room (or in a poker game) like Trump’s comments. Still, to the extent that Trump’s behavior with and about women is reinforced not only by the women and their bodies but by giggling admiration from other men, it’s cultural.
Groping and ogling women garners sexual reinforcers in the form of touching and seeing things that are pleasurable in a sexual way. This would seem to apply mainly to teenaged boys, who presumably are more strongly potentiated to be reinforced by sexual stimuli than adults are, and who presumably are not as used to seeing and touching women as adults are.
For many men, the sexual reinforcement obtained by touching or looking is offset by the effect on the woman; for them, causing the woman discomfort is aversive. In consensual sex and in pornography, there is either no aversive effect on the woman or no apparent aversive effect. Information that links pornography to sex trafficking or pathological reasons for the woman’s engagement can ruin pornography for many men.
When the man is very wealthy or very charismatic, women may pretend not to be bothered by the groping in exchange for the chance at a relationship or so as not to disadvantage themselves socially or economically. And some women in some circumstances may enjoy groping or ogling by strangers for reasons not relevant here, except to say that these women require men to distinguish them from most women, a relatively easy distinction to make for men who find women’s discomfort aversive.
The main reason men grope women, though, is projective identification. Projective identification is a defense mechanism: It works to preserve beliefs about a person’s narrative and definition of self by disowning aspects of the self that don’t fit that narrative or definition.
In projective identification, you get other people to embody embarrassing aspects of the self so you can then define yourself in counterpoint to the disowned aspects. In projection, you merely imagine that others are like you claim not to be; in projective identification, you act in a way that actually gets them to be what you claim not to be. For example, a woman who cannot bear to think of herself as aggressive drives slow in the left lane and marvels at how angry other drivers tend to be as they honk and scream at her. In comparison with the people she sees, she has indeed become someone with remarkably little anger. A man who is terrified of being ordinary insists that every encounter with him be intimate, startling, and emotionally courageous; others react with exhaustion and retreat to mundane pleasures like small talk and watching TV. In comparison with them, he has indeed become an extraordinary person.
Many men are raised to detest their own dependence, passivity, and vulnerability. This occurs not only through punishment of boys for being weak but also through excessive praise for their strength, agency, and toughness. The latter creates a situation where the boy being normally vulnerable or scared becomes a loss of face. Groping, ogling, and catcalling are often ways of inducing in women feelings of vulnerability, weakness, and fear. Compared to women scurrying away from a frightening man, the man seems to himself to be tough, strong, and courageous. Compared to a woman paralyzed or befuddled by being groped, the man seems to himself to be a master of the universe. Bullying works the same way.

Author: Michael Karson Ph.D., J.D.
Published on: Psychology Today

Conservative or Liberal?

OTTAWA — Rachael Harder took it as a personal insult.
“Women and girls from across this country had a prime minister stand up and say, ‘As the prime minister of Canada, it is up to me to dictate whether or not you hold the right beliefs,” said the Conservative MP for Lethbridge, Alta.
“What prevents him from saying that to any one of the women in this room?”
She was speaking to a crowd of Ottawa-area Conservatives gathered at a pub overlooking the Rideau River one weeknight last month, refering to the time last fall when Liberal MPs on the House of Commons status of women committee decided to block her nomination as chair over her views on abortion.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau backed the move, saying the committee should be led by someone who would unequivocally defend the rights of women.
“There is a prime minister that claims to be a feminist prime minister,” Harder, the Conservative critic for the status of women, said in an interview.
“Yet, he has shown very little to no respect for personal choice or individual liberties among women.”
Trudeau has made the push for gender equality a top priority for his Liberal government.
The gender-balanced budget. The feminist international assistance policy. The proposed gender chapter in the North American Free Trade Agreement. The G7 gender equality advisory council, featuring none other than Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai.
And, of course, the because-it’s-2015 response when a reporter asked Trudeau why he chose to name an equal number of men and women to cabinet.
The Liberal government has firmly branded itself as a feminist one. So, where does that leave a Conservative woman who considers herself a feminist?
Sabrina Sotiriu, 31, who came to hear Harder speak that night, said it leaves her frustrated. And, reluctantly, a little impressed.
“I hate it,” she said with a laugh, “but I think it’s very successful.”
Sotiriu, a Conservative staffer on Parliament Hill, said the Liberals have done a good job of defining feminism on their own terms, so that if critics disagree with the Liberal approach to gender issues, or the economy, they’ll be dismissed as an anti-feminist.
“You know, you have to be progressive and progressivism has to do with feminism and if you’re not progressive, you’re not feminist,” she said.
Finance Minister Bill Morneau suggested as much when he appeared before the House of Commons finance committee to discuss the budget, which had undergone, for the first time in Canadian history, a gender-based analysis.
“Isn’t this just a way to get a woman’s vote?” Conservative MP Lisa Raitt, the deputy leader of her party, needled him at the meeting.
Morneau said he took offence — and then he went on the offensive.
“My view is that we will be more successful collectively if we’re actually able to successfully promote women into leadership roles,” he said.
“We will drag along the neanderthals who don’t agree with that, and that will be our continuing approach.”
Rachel Curran, who served as policy director to Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper, said that as a long-time feminist, the commitment to championing the rights of women was one of the things she liked about Trudeau when he first came to power.
Now, she thinks the Liberals are using feminism as a political weapon.
“They are turning gender issues into this sort of wedge issue or identity-politics issue, which pits women who maybe hold a certain set of beliefs, or approach women’s issues or feminism in a certain way, against what the government sees as the true or correct or right version of feminism,” she said.
The controversy over the Canada Summer Jobs program is seen as one such example.
The Liberal government is now requiring organizations seeking federal grants for hiring summer students to attest to their respect for sexual and reproductive health rights — including abortion — as well as other human rights.
Many faith-based organizations said they were being forced into choosing between their values and grants that helped them run programs having nothing to do with abortion.
There are also ideological differences in approaches to gender issues that are more broadly about how Conservatives and Liberals view the world, which, according to Harder, boils down to this: equality of opportunity versus equality of outcome.
To illustrate her point, she brings up a figure included in the 2018 federal budget: women represent four per cent of apprentices in skilled trades. The budget committed $19.9 million over five years for a pilot grant program aimed at narrowing the gap.
“Should we be making sure that all barriers are taken down and women have the opportunity to enter these fields? Yes, absolutely. But should we be somehow social engineering a society where there is 50 per cent women and 50 per cent men in every single sector?” Harder said as she accused the Liberals, inaccurately, of imposing quotas for the skilled trades.
“That doesn’t respect a woman’s choice. That doesn’t respect her freedom. That doesn’t respect her interests and her objectives for her own life.”
She also has no time for the idea that, even if the conservative vision of ‘a rising tide lifts all boats’ is true, there may be some — including women — who could use a hand getting out of the sea.
“That is the most patriarchal thing that I have ever heard,” she scoffed.
Raitt, meanwhile, does actually believe in setting targets in some cases.
She recalls that when she was transport minister in the Harper government, and responsible for naming some 400 people to the boards of Crown Corporations, she made it clear she would be looking to improve the statistics.
“Little by little, we started seeing progress,” said Raitt. “But I didn’t come out and announce, ‘Boom! Everything is going to be 50-50.”
That, in her view, is the whole problem with the Trudeau approach to feminism.
“Capital T, capital F: ‘The Feminist’ government,” she said.

Joanna Smith, The Canadian Press
Published Sunday, May 6, 2018 1:47PM EDT

Free Pads for girls

Sister Namibia raised the issue of menstruation in the youth consultative meeting with the President of the Republic of Namibia on 25/04/18.
We acknowledged that it is deemed an uncomfortable subject, even in Parliament, but that it needs addressing.
In the presentation to the platform from the collaborative entities; statistics from the 2016 youth unemployment by gender stood at 33% for males and 43% for women in urban areas, however that figure stands at 60% for women in rural areas.
We pointed out that lack of sanitary supplies and the inability to afford them forces more girls (than boys) to miss out on school education and solicit for basic products like this.
1. This puts them at risk of teenage pregnancy and or HIV and STD’s (further marginalising them)
2. Reduces their learning and in return
3. Lowers their chances to compete in the economy through decent/quality employment
So we cannot talk about improving the socioeconomic status of especially rural women in isolation without addressing issues like free pads and taxation of menstrual supply products.
Providing the free reusable sanitary pads (SisterPads) is not just a charitable and noble act.
It is vehicle of Sister Namibia to rattle the cage on bigger issue of providing free pads for girls in school across Namibia.
This is a basic necessity and our girl child should not have to be further disadvantaged because of lack of provision.
The President mentioned that his wife got into trouble with religious leaders he had met a day before us; for talking like we (Sister Namibia) do.
Pointing out relations older men have with teenagers that lead to teenage pregnancy and others (an option they sometimes undertake to supply themselves with basic needs, including sanitary supplies).
He however also agreed that it is something neglected even in Parliament, but that it is a reality on the ground whether it makes a selected few or everyone uncomfortable.
We were encouraged to continue our role of community education, advocacy.
Our request was that this be rolled out and led as high level policy influencing discussion in Parliament by our Head of State because it is an issue that must be enacted.
What we are doing at the moment with the SisterPads is putting a bandage on a cracked dam. Our government’s role is to fix the bigger problem.
I don’t care how many people are made uncomfortable by issues of “menstruation”, because quite frankly our discomfort and therefore lack of active discourse does not change the situation on the ground for the girl child!
So yes, menstruation, menstruation, menstruation!
An uncontrolled biological process CANNOT disadvantage one gender.
Sister Namibia will drive the change of “culture”, will change the way we look at “uncomfortable issues/words”, will transform the none-gender-progressive status quo.
We will do this one dialogue at a time.
Let us stand behind Sister as we lobby for free pads for girls in school.
We can do this!
There are means to revise financial resources and allocations to cater for a move like this for Namibia.

By Elsarien Katiti

Murderers, all of us

Are we becoming desensitised to brutality? Moreover to murder?
A story still lingers in my head.
Quite recently, a son murdered his mother, because she plead with him not to hit his girlfriend.
Now his girlfriend ran and hid after he had assaulted her, but eventually went home because the baby was crying most night.
According the reports he didn’t continue hitting her, in fact he put ointment on her wounds.
The dual side of an abuser, a monster and very caring too.
He locked the doors and they stayed in there all night.
In the morning his mother comes to plead with him about beating up his girlfriend who is also the mother of his 11 month old baby.
He was said to have stormed out and started hacking her with a panga (machete).
His girlfriend, when he opened the door ran away.
Now I want to redirect the story to his girlfriend.
Upon the slightest opportunity, she ran for her life.
So for an entire night, she must have been violently terrified to even be in the same room as this man.
Could she see the murder weapon in her sight? Was she careful to not say the wrong thing or move the wrong way or she would get chopped?
Think of the horror she endured with this man, not only on this fateful night, but every night when he was angry at her for some perceived wrong.
Imagine how many women are kept hostage every night by their abusers.
How many stories have we heard of women murdered?
What is our reaction now? Anger? Pity?
Here is the thing though, we have become desensitised.
Murder in Namibia, is just part of the day.
Doesn’t shock us anymore.

We are not angry enough to make a difference.
We are more curious in the details of the murder, than we are in justice for the murdered.

Which brings me to the point of accusation.
We, all of us have become accessories in the killing of these women.
We are on-looking murderers.
Because none of us cry no more.
It’s like we are silently condoning crime.
Silence, condones.
I don’t care what you say in whispers or the prayers you send upwards for victims.
But your silence, our silence has made us passive murderers, we are contributing to the killing of these women.
So for every woman that dies… I declare that her blood just as much lies in your hands as it does in the murderers hands.
Cause we don’t do enough.
We don’t cry enough.
We aren’t angry enough.
We don’t strike enough.
We don’t boycott enough.
We don’t demand for justice enough.
We don’t challenge the status quo enough.
We don’t provide enough counselling for angry men.
We don’t provide enough safe havens for abused women.
We haven’t done enough to safe the next victim.
We wait like hungry vultures for the next corpse.

We just don’t walk in their shoes enough to understand, to understand their fears.
Is this who we’ve become?
Murderers, all of us.

By Elsarien Katiti

Trustco Ad: The Voices

The Trustco Advert saga brought so many voices out to speak.
Not all were positive.
Here is a collection of some of the voices.

Martha Mukaiwa: In case you’re on the sidelines wondering what’s wrong with it: Women are “broads” . A sexist, objectifying and derogatory term for a woman. We look better in board photos. Calling attention to our appearance and our appeal in the context of the male gaze in the age of #MeToo and the global move towards ending sexual harassment in the workplace and beyond. We should be able to stand our ground against the best men. Patronising, connoting some level of accepted and thriving gender weighted intimidation inherent in the workplace. And then “#Yes of course of men are also welcome to apply” thus rendering all of the above just the usual sexist, misogynistic and careless language preceding disgraceful behaviour not even in the context of some misguided move towards equality. As for the use of Annie Leibovitz’s incredible image of Caitlyn Jenner. Transphobic at worst and reductive at the same. Jenner’s former and probably continued struggle with her gender identity minimised to “doing anything” rather than a difficult fight for truth, her life and legitimacy as a human being and a woman with the right to choose and pursue her happiness. Just disgusting, tone deaf, oblivious and disgraceful. Get serious, Trustco Group Holdings. Whoever dreamt this up is clearly not living on this planet or they are severely deaf to the efforts being made against the violence of sexism, transphobia or simply walking out your door as a woman. Open your eyes, apologise, retract, look around and do much (and I mean MUCH) better.

Sister Namibia: It seems our voice has been silent in the matter of the Trustco advert.
But it has not been, we have been so shocked we didn’t know what to say.
So here goes.
The term “Broad”:
• A word for a woman. Less respectable than “lady” but much more respectable than “bitch”.
• A term originated in the 1930’s meaning woman; derived from the fact that the most defining characteristic of all females are their hips, which are proportionately wider than hips of their male counterparts.
• Usually offensive, a term used for to refer to a woman. A promiscuous woman.
• Often men who felt threatened by strong-willed and successful women would call them broads in a derogatory sense.
The board is a strategic head of an organization, it develops and guides policy. And if on that level there is such disdain and disrespect for women, it speaks of a rotten institutional culture.
Example trickles down from leadership to the workforce, and it is an absolute shame to see such behaviour tolerated in an institute such as Trustco.
This explicitly reveals sexualisation of women, harassment and a complete disregard for their intellect and leadership capabilities.
It is greatly upsetting that we still have to keep saying that women are more than their figures and their breasts, that they are capable of being leaders. It is also upsetting that we have very few women considered for strategic leadership and managerial positions.
Until we have a balanced representation in leadership, this are battles we still have to fight.
If there were enough women on that board, this behaviour would never have been tolerated in the first place.
So we hope Trustco gives more than an apology (which was not an apology at all mind you), but increases women representation on the board.
Sister Namibia is in support of all the voices who stood up against this ad.
We strongly reiterate your cries.
Let us as a sisterhood fight against and uproot every misogynistic ideology and practice against women.

Blu H Mathews: That is because you wish to look at it in that light. The transgender in the picture lived for years in self imprisonment due to fear of what society and family members may say. Trustco using her image could mean that they are calling out all women who think less of themselves, women who feel because they do not have an education will never be in a good position at work. Women that deem themselves as nobodies due to their circumstances. You focusing on the negative says a lot about you. Hence you aren’t really able to assist people that come to your offices for assistance most especially women. For an establishment such as yourselves to stoop so low to bully a company just because they decided to go a little extra on their creativity says a lot about you and the entire organization. Learn to see a little positive for goodness’ sake. I remain supportive of Trustco
Uaaruka Happyforever Kandjii: Blu H Mathews, finally someone that saw the ad in the way I saw it…. I didn’t see anything wrong with it and took it positively and thought it was actually funny and creative! Yes they used a transgender woman but people should just take a chill pill and see the bigger picture.

Lizette Feris: I’m sorry that you ladies see nothing wrong with the ad. I guess it is the effects of living in a patriarchal society, and Namibia is definetly one where women should know their place. I wish that you too like Caitlin Jenner break free of the prisons you live in. Stay woke sisters, and you only have to work hard and be passionate to get a seat.
Don’t worry we don’t judge you, we want to emancipated you.

Jholerina Angel-Khoetage Timbo: It may seem like a nice ad to you ladies .but ask me who is the transgender woman living in this country with all the challenges of transitioning , stigma and discrimination that I face daily as me how I feel. This ad is a misinterpretation of what we are as a community .We do not transition into who we are because we want a seat at Truscos table for power.we transition to align ourselves more in how we see ourselves. This ad is misleading to me as a transgender person and a slap in my face as our lives seems to objectified to promote Transphobia by saying we are man and would do anything to get a seat. Transition has never been about a seat but about self and self love and being true to yourself.if i am transitioning only to get a seat it is a selfish and degrading notion for me as a transgender person in Namibia that constantly faces such bigotry and trans misogyny on a day to day basis. I am utterly disgusted and disappointed in Trustco.
Also as part of the community that is negatively impacted by this you can’t imagine to start to tell me how I should feel.As a transgender woman this is I walk down the street and now the Trustco slogan or tag line is used again. They do anything to get a seat oh shame. So you can’t take away my agency and bodily atonomy and tell me how I should feel about this trans degrading add. Trustco must put money where thier mouths are and used that money to promote engagement and not incite stigma and discrimination without recourse of how this will impact and effect me .who is a visible transgender woman out and about.faced with so much prejudice and insults. This ad is adding salt to my daily injuries

Alexis Zakarra: Everything about this ad is wrong, The message it is sending to the Namibian people about, first, how they should treat women, inclusive of trans women, and secondly, the language used and the surprisingly overt misogany and bigotry. The missing element in all of it, is who was responsible for the creation, approval and dissemination of the content, all men. The way those responsible for this distasteful ad responded afterwards. It says a lot about how patriarchy at its core is a tool used to undermine and subjugate women and those who don’t have a voice. As funny as it is, there lies truth in humour and jokes, but it doesn’t make it right. If you see nothing wrong with this as a women, than I challenge you to explore how you have and are internalizing patriarchy, that has numbed you in detecting your own oppression. Look past the funny and see the ad for what it really is within the bigger picture. A tool used to oppress; not in total isolation but as part of myriad ways in which women, trans women included, are trivialized and oppressed by those with power and means. And I won’t get into how a message like this can play out in actuality within the everyday context for women, trans women and those directly affected by this irresponsible ad.

Tuya Amakali: I don’t understand why people are saying it’s funny and we should see the humour in it. Why is it okay to make fun of someone because they are different, what makes trustco and everyone in agreement with this add think that Jenner transitioned for any reason other that is not internal and emotional. It’s not an easy thing making such a decision and it’s not an easy thing living such a life. How can it be funny and okay to make fun of other people’s struggles including the struggles that women face on a daily basis. When we walk down the street and men touch us inappropriately without our consent, is that okay? Is it funny to you as a victim of it because the men that do it are laughing? When you work in a men dominated environment and they laugh at every idea you bring because you belong in the kitchen even when your ideas are good, is that funny to you? As a member of the trustco board, if they constantly look at you and address you as merely a woman that looks good in board pictures, will that be funny to you? What kind of men are on that board and why do they see it fit to categorise and objectify women in that manner? I for one don’t think it’s funny, I personally think it’s insulting. We are all entitled to our opinions though

Manuel Oghlian: They really should stop watching The Wolf of Wall Street…

Monica Geingos: This is wrong on many levels and quite frankly, unacceptable. What scares me more than the crass and casual disrespect, the overt sexism, the transphobia and innuendos, what scares me the most is @qvr_ calling it “brilliant”. Don’t trivialise how this ad makes people feel.

Gordon Joseph: I don’t understand how no one in the production process saw how trashy and offensive and disgusting the advert is… makes make one question/wonder just how much diversity there is at that company…

Compiled by
Elsarien Katiti

Clothes aren’t an invitation

“The Society” tells you not to wear short skirts, or dresses or shorts as a lady.
“The Society” tells you that these clothes might attract attention, the type of attention you don’t want to get.
“The Society” tells you that you will look blowzy.
“The Society” tells you that the rate of being molested or raped is higher when you wear short things.

We should think about these assertions.

It is clear that people might look at you because they can see your thighs or boobs because of a bigger neckline. And it is clear that we have to deal with this malignant glances, because we will never change everybody’s mind.
But just because some men can see more of my skin is not an invitation for anything.
You shouldn’t whistle at me just cause you can see my legs.
You are not allowed to touch me just because you can see my skin.
And most of all you don’t have to molest, harass or rape me!

You should call to mind that my outfit isn’t asking for anything like that.
I have autonomy to my body and anything that happens to it requires my consent and approval!

Clothes are one way to personal fulfillment, and you should wear what you are comfortable in.
If you love green, wear green. If you love high heels, wear high heels. If you love tops, wear tops.

In a nutshell you should wear whatever you want, if it gives you the ability to feel beautiful.
Of cause there are occasions requiring you to wear clothes adaptive of the circumstances, for example church, wedding or school.
But what you are going to wear is never an invitation for anybody to take advantage of your body

I really wish that “The Society” will understand this someday.

By Ronja

Prevention is better than cure

As known, at Sister Namibia we organize workshops in schools about self-defense. “Unfortunately” we have to.
And I say “unfortunately”, because rather than safety techniques, wouldn’t it be better if pupils were trained how to be respectful and kind?!?
For example, what about integrating every school timetable with weekly classes of Kindness, Respect, Awareness and Commitment into social and environmental issues?
Young generations must be raised in a way to make the difference, to desire to live in a better world.
Actually, we all must open our eyes and be more sensitive regarding nowadays issues.
We must be more conscious, aware, AWAKE!
Sometimes we might feel desperate and hopeless, especially when we hear or read of dreadful horrible stories.
We end up by loosing hope in human kind and we wonder “What’s going on? Where the heck is this world going?”
We cannot lose hope though. We cannot give up.
Let’s commit ourselves and channel our energies in terms of sensibility, responsiveness, empathy.
We all are just transient on this earth and precisely because of this, we should spend our time here in the best way, make it worth it by changing it, somehow, into a better place.
So, again, let’s raise our kids in a way that they do NOT have to defend themselves from anybody and anything, without looking at the other as a potential enemy.
Let’s set up a world with NO FEARS.

By Chiara