Gender activist Sarry Xoagus-Eises passes on
Veteran journalist, freedom fighter, tireless campaigner for the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development, and gender activist, Sarry’s died on Tuesday in Hospital, after a short visit to Karibib.
As the founder of the Namibia chapter of Gender and Media Southern Africa (GEMSA), Sarry joined Gender Links in July 2009 as the Gender Justice and Local Government facilitator in Namibia.
Her gender research experience includes the media monitoring project in 2006, the HIV and AIDS baseline study in Namibia as well as being the coordinator of the research on the representation and participation of women in Local Government titled At the Coalface, Gender and Local Government in Southern Africa.
Under her stewardship, 36 Councils in Namibia became Centres of Excellence for Gender in Local Government as the Namibia Broadcasting Corporation, which hosts the Southern Africa Broadcasting Association (SABA) has become a champion for gender in the media.
“As the Gender Links family we are in shock,” said Gender Links Chair Emily Brown, who is also a Senior Lecturer Journalism and Media Technology at the Namibia University of Science and Technology.
“Sarry was synonymous with gender and the media, gender and local government, and Gender Links in Namibia. It is hard to imagine our work here without her,” Brown added.
“Stalwarts earn their spurs. It would be hard to find a more loyal, more hard working, more devoted foot soldier than Sarry. In decades of service to women’s rights, she traversed Namibia and Southern Africa, making the case with vigour and with humour, a voice not to be ignored,” added Gender Links CEO Colleen Lowe Morna.
In her Learning Journey at Gender Links, Sarry wrote: “Some journeys are planned, others happen at short notice and many happen unexpectedly. Mine is not an ordinary journey from Windhoek to Johannesburg. It is journey of capacity building, of acquiring more knowledge and that of challenging certain gender roles. A journey is taken to arrive at a designated destination. I use this journey as a learning curve.”
Gender Links will honour Sarry in January 2018 by renaming its Pools View Conference Room the Sarry Xoagus-Esis (SXE) Conference Centre.
“We grieve and we celebrate a beautiful life, dedicated to justice, self-empowerment, giving and above all the empowerment of others,” Gender Links said.