Unravelling taboos: gender and sexuality in Namibia by Edited by Suzanne LaFont and Dianne Hubbard

By Edited by Suzanne LaFont and Dianne Hubbard

The wide-ranging, insightful and provocative selection of chapters during this quantity makes educational examine to be had to any reader drawn to the dynamics of gender and sexuality in Namibia this day. Nineteen essays by way of fashionable teachers and analysts search to solve the misconceptions, stereotypes and taboos surrounding the suggestions of gender equality, sexuality and sexual rights in Namibia.

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She maintains that it was reinforced through alliances between officials and conservative male elders and leaders, who in their turn drew selectively on African cultural precedents concerning gender norms. This appears to be true for the redefinition of traditional gender attributes shared between the colonial administration and male members of the traditional elite, and for the alternative new construction of gender by the Christian missions. It is apparent that both these ways of thinking about and re-enforcing gender perpetuated and reinforced male dominance.

This happened especially in Owambo where due to the area’s long-standing unequivocal support for SWAPO, people strongly identified with “our new Namibia”. After independence, colonial representations of gender, and their reflec­ tion in structures of traditional authority and customary laws, began to change in many respects. At times these seemed to be contradictory. Take the case of the mid-1990s renegotiations in the Owambo communities about the payment (ofuto) in cases of premarital pregnancy.

Mohanty, CT, 1991. Under Western Eyes: Feminist Scholarship and Colonial Discourses. In CT Mohanty et al, eds, Third World Women and the Politics of Feminism. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press. Moore, H, 1994. A Passion for Difference: Essays in Anthropology and Gender. Cambridge: Polity Press. Olivier, MJ, 1961. Inboorlingsbeleid en administrasie in die mandaatgebied van SuidwesAfrika. PhD thesis. University of Stellenbosch. Peters, P, 1997. Against the Odds: Matriliny, Land and Gender in the Shire Highlands of Malawi.

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