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Opinion - Embracing negotiation, complementarity and Ubuntu to deconstruct patriarchy

2022-09-09  Staff Reporter

Opinion - Embracing negotiation, complementarity and Ubuntu to deconstruct patriarchy

Diana Mwanyagapo

A complete stop to violence against women, sexism, discrimination, men privileged to hold the power, and women becoming second-class, that is rightfully and relevantly the talk of a feminist who wants her voice to be heard. 

And what better way it is to use the nego-feminism as opposed to alien feminisms in Namibia. Nego-feminism is the feminism of negotiation whereby as human beings, both men and women have to get into a negotiation to reach an agreement. 

There is a need for both males and females to negotiate, compromise and complement each other than to fight and antagonise. Through nego-feminism, a woman will have equal rights to that of a man. 

Men and women should sit at a table and come up with an agreement on the equal treatment of both genders, as women have a say either in family meetings, political activities and in relationships, where men seem to be more dominating. 

We need each other as humans, and through Ubuntu, we need to be culturally rooted for us to work together in peace and harmony. 

We need to come together as one and advocate for social, political, economic and intellectual equality through forbearance, tolerance and complementarity in a modern Namibia. 

Let us share the work among ourselves equally without anyone having to have more power than others because this at times leads to women’s abuse because they are considered weak. 

The question is, what happened to gender equality; what happened to the mantra that we are one person; why is it that it is a taboo for a man to change his own kid’s dampers, and cooking has to be a woman’s role? What a man can do, a woman can equally do. Having to promote equality among the two genders means a better tomorrow. Whatever we do needs to be motivated by capabilities, and our positive and life-affirming cultural imperatives. A woman’s or man’s success must not be a threat to the other gender, but these are realities that should propel humankind. 

It is critical that we seek harmony, peaceful negotiation, co-existence, collaboration and complementarity than toxic aggression, or egoistic and misguided self-serving directions. It is important, therefore, that as women, we invite men to be partners for socio-cultural and economic change as opposed to antagonising those we are supposed to build with.

This is the basis of African feminism, where the culture of negotiation is a gentle approach to solving issues and challenges through looking at the contextual and traditional realities that shape our existence, where fighting for women’s rights does not mean negating and discarding even those values that are positive and hold significance to us as a people. 

Our future lies in deconstructing patriarchy for women’s and men’s benefit, and elevating the bonds that bring forth the best out of us as Namibians and others in our midst. Through the practice of Ubuntu, the togetherness within us is the way forward, and this comes with love, sympathy, empathy, and forgiveness. 

It comes with values of humanness towards others and caring not only for oneself, but for both men and women. And as we nurture the boychild and the boychild, let us dream of a world of brotherhood and sisterhood, where negotiation, complementarity and Ubuntu reign supreme. Ubuntu and nego-feminism can indeed make a better impact on our lives.

2022-09-09  Staff Reporter

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