By Confidente Reporter
“Comrades, there is no true social revolution without the liberation of women. May my eyes never see and my feet never take me to a society where half the people are held in silence,” quoting the late revolutionary Thomas Sankara, President Hage Geingob opened the 7th Swapo Party’s Women Congress today in Keetmanshoop with these words.
Geingob said women continue to suffer triple oppression at home, outside the home and at the work place.
“Women suffered triple oppression. Inside their homes they suffered the oppression of patriarchy. Outside their homes they suffered the oppression of apartheid simply because they were black. At the workplace they suffered the oppression of gender inequality simply because they were female. We fought side by side to defeat apartheid. We fought side by side to amend and implement laws which recognize the equality of women. We now need to fight side by side to defeat the patriarchy that continues to oppress women in the home, in the workplace and society at large,” he said.
Geingob described men in Swapo under the impression that the implementation of the party’s 50/50 principle would lead to their disempowerment as chicken.
“The women in SWAPO were at the forefront of the implementation of the 50/50 principle. They say a chicken that knows it will be eaten at Christmas will never vote for Christmas. In SWAPO, men are not chicken. We voted for 50/50 as we know that the empowerment of women is not the disempowerment of men. Those men who are under this mistaken impression are chicken!
“Thanks to SWAPO, we have increased Namibia’s representation of women in politics to No. 2 in Africa. Cabinet has women in powerful positions due to skill and not tokenism. They are there because they were the best candidates, not because they are female candidates. As the Head of State, I can corroborate that the women in SWAPO are making us proud. I always knew this as the Director of the United Nations Institute for Namibia. I must share a secret today and admit that women were more diligent students than men! Please, what happens in Keetmanshoop stays in Keetmanshoop! Women are delivering, not just babies at home, they are delivering results wherever they are. It is not fair to allow talent to go to waste!”
Geingob added that as the fight for the economic phase of the struggle continues nobody should feel left out.
“We certainly can’t talk of economic emancipation if we leave out half of our population.”
Geingob also took a swipe at men describing them as worse gossip mongers as compared to women.
“I do not wish to create the impression that only women fight each other. Men are worse! Men gossip about each other and politically destroy each other as well. All I request is that we start looking at the interest of the party over the interests of individuals.”
He added that in a democratic party it was normal for people to contest for positions with one winner emerging.
“In defeat, it is normal for factions to be sad that they lost. However, we will never move forward if we don’t accept democracy and unite in order to support the victor. Let us never isolate talent merely because they exercised their democratic right to support one candidate over the other. United we stand, divided we fall!”
Geingob also bemoaned the continued escalating cases of Gender Based Violence in the country saying there was need for urgent intervention.
“It has become hard reading the newspapers as every day, there are new reports about women and children being killed, raped and assaulted. The physical, sexual and psychological torture that women face in private and public spaces requires urgent intervention. The police are only able to police the streets but it appears Namibians need to be policed in the home as well. The SPWC needs to be at the forefront of fighting this oppression as it is limiting women from taking their rightful place in society.”
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015