San women from Namibia, Bostwana and South Africa gathered at the Goetha Centre last Thursday to celebrate their culture, history and the legacy of San women in general.
The gathering aimed to empower San communities in Southern Africa, particularly young women, through feminist transformative leadership. During their gathering they performed poems and traditional songs about their rights, reconciliation and healing. One of the songs they repeated was “we have woken up, we are San women, we are here today”. During the celebration participants learned about human rights and analysed together the root causes of stigma, discrimination and violence, and how these impact on San young women’s lives. Various creative forms of expression such as body mapping, singing, dancing and writing provided tools for creating self-knowledge and self-esteem and are forms of healing to strengthen San young women’s leadership, resilience and resistance to stigma and discrimination, violence and the risk of HIV and Aids.
“Our overall strategy is to educate women and young women on their rights as guaranteed under national laws and policies as well as the international instruments ratified by the state, and to provide safe spaces within which women and young women can relate these to their own lives, support one another in beginning processes of healing from the multiple violations most of them have experienced, and begin to empower themselves to exercise their individual and collective voice in asserting their rights and working towards social justice as equal citizens of our countries in Southern Africa,” says Elizabeth |Khaxas, Director of the Women Leadership Centre.
The event was made possible by Women Leadership Centre together with San young women from Botswana, South Africa and Namibia.