First ever lesbian festival organised by civil society in Namibia


On 21st December 2017, the feminist organisation Women's Leadership Centre (WLC) organised the first Namibian Lesbian Festival in the country's capital Windhoek. The festival gathered more than 80 LGBTQ women from eight regions of the country who came together for the first time. Liz Frank of WLC said that young lesbians in Namibia face discrimination, stigma and violence in their daily lives, a legacy of the years of harmful and discriminatory speech from some political leaders in Namibia. 

Florence Khaxas, a women's right activist and volunteer for WLC, explained to The Namibian that:

"We are holding our President accountable to his promise of building an inclusive Namibian house for all, in which no one should feel excluded. We are challenging those who still want to use 'authentic African culture and identity' or religious discourses to dispute the indivisibility of dignity and rights".

Peaceful Assembly

On 19th January 2018, over 30 residents of Cleveland farm peacefully protested to demand resettlement from the government. The protesters marched to the office of the governor of Otjozondjupa and handed over a petition. Livestock farmers on the Cleveland farm were evicted by the Otjiwarongo municipality when it leased a portion of the land to Cheetah Cement factory. The farmers claim that they should have been allowed to stay on Cleveland farm per an agreement with the late governor of Otjozondjupa. 

In November 2017, workers at Swakop Uranium's Husab Mine - east of Swakopmund - organised a peaceful protest over unequal salaries for similar jobs performed as well as what they believe have been unfair hiring policies and practices. The Mineworkers' Union of Namibia supported the protest and attempted to negotiate with the company on behalf of the workers. 

In September 2017, a former mayor and architect chained himself to a pole outside the Ministry of Works and Transport in protest over the Ministry's alleged disregard for Namibians with certain professional backgrounds, including architects. His placard read: "Slaves for hire/for sale. The Namibian House is selling its professionals: architects, engineers, and quantity surveyors". At the time of the protest, the Namibian government was considering an extension to an expired agreement with Zimbabwe that allows Zimbabweans with certain trades and professional backgrounds to work in Namibia.