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San women still fighting for equal rights

San women still fighting for equal rights

San young women and traditional leaders came together at the Epako Women’s Centre in Gobabis last month for a two day training and consultation.

Participants where taught about their rights and shared their experiences of how their rights are violated through discrimination, humiliation, marginalisation and exclusion by staff of government agencies inducing education, health and the police.

The San young women and traditional leaders used this platform to call for respect for their dignity and rights and a major area of their concern was access to education for San children.

The group’s demands include the need for their children to be taught in their mother tongue in early childhood development programmes and primary education; training and utilising San learners with Grade 10 as support teachers in schools and to stop the discrimination against San parents serving on school boards.

The group at the training event also raised issues of police brutality and relationships by police officers with San girls and access to health was also an issue of great concern to the San young women.

Furthermore they also called for adequate housing, access to water and sanitation and a strategy for participation by San communities, including San young women in all development efforts including proper data collection for monitoring the impact of programmes..

The Women’s Leadership Centre has been building the voice, visibility, courage and leadership of San young women since 2014 through the national programme ‘Speaking of Ourselves: Voices of San Young Women’.

This programme is based on the premise that, if San young women are aware of their rights as guaranteed in the national and international laws and conventions and are equipped with the knowledge and skills to advocate for these rights. With this they will be able to devise their own strategies to overcome the discrimination and human rights violations they face and become active agents of social change in their communities.

“Stop the victimisation of San young women leaders who have started to speak out for their rights,” concluded the women.

About The Author

Mandisa Rasmeni

Mandisa Rasmeni has worked as reporter at the Economist for the past five years, first on the entertainment beat but now focussing more on community, social and health reporting. She is a born writer and is working on her degree in Journalism at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST). She believes education is the greatest equalizer. She is the epitome of perseverance, having started as the newspaper's receptionist in 2013.