Feminist groups demonstrate for legal abortion


by Okeri Ngutjinazo

Protesters took to the streets on Saturday to call for the legalization of abortions and the extension of women’s reproductive health rights.

The march began at Katutura State Hospital and began to Windhoek Zoo Park, where several speakers addressed the crowd.

One of the organizers of the event, Hildegard Titus, said the march started at Katutura Hospital as it is the largest in the country and is being referred from other regions.

“It’s a symbolic place that provides medical care to the public but not safe abortions,” she said.

According to organizers Voices for Choices and Rights Coalition (VCRC), too many Namibian women have lost their lives as a direct result of illegal unsafe abortions, and women do not have access to post-abortion health care after failed, unsafe and illegal abortions.

The organization said Saturday that access to safe abortions is an essential health service and the continued application of archaic apartheid-era laws in Namibia violates Namibian women’s rights to reproductive health, including autonomy over their bodies.

“Unsafe back alley abortions are the leading cause of maternal mortality worldwide and are completely preventable,” they said.

Under Namibia’s Abortion and Sterilization Act 1975, abortions are illegal for women and girls, except in cases such as rape, incest, or when the mother or child’s life is in jeopardy.

Namibia inherited this act from South Africa.

VCRC is an alliance founded by Beauty Boois who launched an online petition on June 11 to legalize abortion in Namibia.

The petition has garnered over 60,000 signatures since then and calls for the right to legal abortion in Namibia, accompanied by sexual health and reproductive rights education to prevent unwanted pregnancies, baby dumping and safe, legal abortions.

Boois urges the government to ensure that women and young girls in Namibia are aware of their rights to sexual and reproductive health; manage their health, life and body; and achieve gender equality.

The letter and petition to legalize abortion in Namibia were written jointly by Boois and co-founder Ndiilokelwa Nthengwe.

The documents have since been received by various ministries, such as the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Gender Equality, Poverty Reduction and Social Welfare, the Ministry of Sport, Youth and National Services, as well as Namibia’s Parliament and the youth advisor in the President’s office.

The letter was co-signed by members of the coalition consisting of Out-Right Namibia, the Young Feminist Movement of Namibia, Power Pad Girls, Slut-Shame Movement, I Am Not Next Namibia, the Association of Medical Students of Namibia and. exists the solidarity organization for mental health awareness.

Locations participating in the protest included Windhoek, Ongwediva and Gobabis.

Saturday’s protest was streamed to those unable to attend due to lockdown restrictions.


Leave A Reply