Written by: Abla Anowa
Namibians are currently protesting against the huge number of rape and femicide cases against women. Between January 2019 and June 2020, 1,604 cases were reported, averaging at three (3) rape cases being reported in a day whereas others are too scared to report. This is troubling considering that the Namibian population is just about a 2.5million people ( under 1/3 of the population of London alone).
This issue has been of constant bother but protests triggered when the body of 22-year-old Shannon Wasserfall was found in October after she went missing in April. On 10th April 2020, Shannon Wasserfall went missing in the coastal town of Walvis Bay. Following her disappearance, communities have rallied using social media to search for her. After six months, the father of the said lady received an anonymous text informing him about his daughter’s grave. The police were informed, they then went to dig out her remains.
Following this revelation, Namibians strang out demanding an end to rape and femicide. Protests originally began on 6th October 2020, as they have decried the seeming nonchalance and slow responses of the police and government. Major protests are taking place in Windhoek, Swakopmund.
Every woman in Namibia is important!!
— Naija wants to #EndSARS (@Naija_PR) October 10, 2020
— Ruth Modesta Herunga (@RuthHerunga2) October 10, 2020
I’m home and I’m safe. Thank you for all the well wishes. I appreciate you all. Being beaten, dragged, shoved and arrested today made me realize how far I’m willing to go for the cause. I will not be intimidated. #ShutItAllDown #ShutItAllDownNamibia pic.twitter.com/poBrWR0teI
— Anne (@anne_hambuda) October 11, 2020
As expected during almost every protest, the police haven’t been gentle with these protesters as they welcome them with teargas and shoot with rubber bullets, following the fact that twenty-five (25) people including three journalists who were covering the protest have been arrested but as it stands now, they have been released since there were no charges against them. People far and near have taken to social media especially Twitter, to denounce Gender-based violence in Namibia hence the hashtag #ShutItallDown.