First Lady Monica Geingos has challenged Namibians to reject gendered insults aimed at restricting women to certain societal norms and expectations.
Geingos in a video message to commemorate International Women’s Day on Monday said the foundation of gendered insults is to “put women in their place”, adding that such insults are not just directed at individuals, but at women in general.
She said disrespecting women is an important enabler of gender-based violence as it reduces them to objects that label and shame women into conforming to society’s rules.
“And when they don’t, they are adequately shamed, insulted, humiliated, lectured and at times beaten into submission,” she stressed.
She said gendered insults are not only fuelled by men, but also by women.
In the video, Geingos narrated how over the years, she has been insulted, body shamed and at times even blamed for the failures of government.
She said her marriage to the president does not protect her from misogyny and gendered insults, and her choice to ignore most insults have just made it worse as they are now being directed at her mother, children and other loved ones.
Geingos called on the public to defend and stand up for women as silence does not protect anyone.