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Wednesday, 05 March 2014 17:08

Introducing The Women's Leadership Center, A Group For Namibian Lesbians

Written by 

Namibie

 

 

Lately, we speak about Africa by sharing bad news about Nigeria and Uganda but there are also, fortunately, some good news like this initiative to create a lesbian feminist group in Namibia.

 A feminist and lesbian organization, the Women's Leadership Centre (WLC), tries to change things through Namibia.

 Based in Windhoek, "the WLC facilitates the voice, visibility and leadership of Namibian women, in particular women from marginalised groups, through research, education and training, advocacy, writing, photography and the publishing of critical feminist texts which we distribute within our society."

 In 2013, the group notably worked with lesbian women victims of homophobic stigma and discrimination to learn them how to stay strong.

Guides were written to inform young lesbians and parents on homosexuality like 'Loving and supporting our lesbian daughters!'

 Safe spaces were also developped to greet young lesbians.                                                       

For example, in Northern Namibia (Owanboland), a workshop was created and it represents the only place in this area available for lesbians where they can be free to be themselves.

 More and more, thanks to this group, the dialogue opens. Lesbians are not totally accepted yet but the things change, day after day.

"Learning about our human rights made us realise that as young lesbians we have the right to have rights, and that all human beings including lesbians have dignity and are bearers of rights - human rights, women's rights including sexual rights.

 "We used this knowledge to make connections between our lives and the violations of our human rights. Knowledge of human rights helped us to understand that we are individually and collectively responsible for protecting our rights, and that the Namibian government also has the responsibility to safeguard our right to life, to health and well-being, to education, and to freedom from humiliation, torture and degrading treatment. As young lesbians we have the right to be included in policies that protect people from violence and HIV and Aids," Liz Frank and Elizabeth Khaxas, both Namibian lesbians engaged in the battle for more rights and visibility for 25 years, told AllAfricaAllAfrica.

For more information about the WLC, see their website : www.wlc-namibia.orgwww.wlc-namibia.org

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