Sexual and Gender-Based violence the poignant topic
In Namibia, a new wave of activism swept across the country with the birth of the
#ShutItAllDown movement and social protests to demand for a State of Emergency in
respect of Femicide and the surge of SGBV in the country. #ShutItAllDown speaks to
the lack of political will and inaction in Namibia to curb and eliminate harmful practices
and ideologies that persist which contribute to gender-based violence.
My name is Ndiilo Nthengwe, the HERVoice Fund Ambassador for Namibia who was at
the forefront of the #ShutItAllDown movement. I led the protesters and activists to
demand for the immediate resignation of the current Minister of Gender Equality,
Poverty Eradication and Child Welfare. In unification with other fierce feminists and
brave citizens, we led the Reproductive Justice Movement and nationwide protests on
18 July 2020.
The protests were initiated after a petition was launched by published Author and
Pyschological Counselor, Beauty Boois, with the aim to call for abortion law reform, as
well as the protection and prioritisation of womxn’s health and womxn’s rights in
Namibia. The petition was an act of frustration and resistance against an apartheid era
law that remains in effect some 45 years after it was introduced.
A petition with a list of substantive demands was submitted to members of parliament,
which received significant government and interrelated network attention and saw His
Excellency Dr. Hage G. Geingob, the president of Namibia inviting the youth protesters
to the State House to discuss intergenerational strategies on ways to combat SGBV
collaboratively, in the country.
Subsequently, the Minister of Home Affairs and Safety and Security requested an
audience with the youth protesters and the Ministry of Gender Equality, Poverty
Eradication and Child Welfare, with the same aim of sharing strategies alongside the
security and gender cluster of the country. Overall, the ministries will be working in
tandem after a special committee is established on which the youth protesters will be
invited as technical working groups to strengthen governments’ efforts to combat
SGBV in the country.
My advocacy speaks to my passion for intersectional activism, as I are a representative
of an organization that advocates for the rights and voices of sexual, gender and sex
minorities across the country. As the Advocacy and Communications Officer for Out-
Right Namibia, a human rights based organization for the LGBT+ community, I continue
to insert the voices of minority and marginalized groups even in the broader context of
Reproductive Justice and SGBV.
I believe that “equality without safety is like digging water wells and forgetting to put
distribution points; that adolescent girls, young women and gender diverse persons
need access to this water, they need their safety”.
At the heart of my activism is my drive for socio-political transformation and the dignity
and human rights of all persons, this continues to fuel my vision for a more equal and
liberated community across the Globe.