Pieter Kausiona

Pieter Kausiona

Date: May 29, 2012
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I am the Deputy Mayor of Karibib town in Namibia. My first encounter with Gender Links was at a workshop on mainstreaming gender in local councils, where I gave the opening remarks. Karibib council is now part of the Gender Links Local Government Centres of Excellence process. I have welcomed this involvement so that I can help the people in my community. I was a community activist before I became a politician and that is why people voted for me to be in this position. I have devoted myself to putting community issues at the forefront. Gender Links has changed his life first as an individual and as a deputy mayor in a great way. It has given me concrete tools to use to put gender on the agenda.

The council has tried to minimise the occurrence of violence in this town by cutting grass and putting up street lights in areas which seem to be safe havens for perpetrators. Though these may seem like small measures, they are helpful in many ways. We have also set up committees like the Safety Forum, which comprises of the police, the mine and public policing relations that are deployed in designated areas of the 7 zones in Karibib. Members of this forum get information about where violence may be rife and help give information to the police, and identify possible perpetrators. By minimising violence against members of the community, we are also in turn helping to create jobs for both men and women in Karibib; investors will not shy away from safe and violence free areas.

It is still important to note that gender based violence is rife in my community and this is being spearheaded by the abuse of alcohol. Women need to be outspoken on violence.

Gender Links really must take credit for the change in my community. Gender Links should be commended for the progression that now exists in Karibib in terms of gender awareness and gender mainstreaming. Karibib has established a committee comprising of members of the community which will oversee the progress that the council will be making; this is an idea that came out during our meetings with Gender Links.

Being part of the COE process has really led me to appreciate that gender is not only about women. Gender roles involve both men and women. I have also learnt that people should respect each other regardless of sex. Also when we employ people, knowledge of gender balance is very useful. It is really to the benefit of everyone to have women in top positions in different parts of decision making.

Men should not crowd positions of power, but give women a chance to be in these top posts so as to move forward the fight for Gender equality. As Karibib council mobilises members of the community to attend Gender Links workshops, the community is now more understanding and receptive on issues related to equality, which provides great inspiration for me to continue this work.




2 thoughts on “Pieter Kausiona”

Frida says:

worries..we’re good! As far as kids isolated from etinhc groups and not understanding the meaning or significance of racial slurs, I completely concur. While living abroad, I met and began dating this Slovenian guy. (super hot, btw!) Anyway, one day he affectionately call me his n-word’. I was like, WHA?? I told him that it was offensive to me and most Black people and should never be used. He was like, My friends and I say it all the time. We got it from MTV! I was the first Black girl he’d dated (and probably met, if I remember correctly) so this had never been addressed before even though he was almost 40 yrs old. I didn’t go into a history lesson of the word’s origin but told him it was a racial slur. Of course, I didn’t hold it against him, either. Forgive them, for they know not what they do. Bless his heart. From another perspective I went to a specialized middle school for gifted students in NYC. However, it was in a small, predominately Black community in Brooklyn with teachers of various etinhc and cultural backgrounds. I remember in 7th grade, this kid named Mitchell, daring students to go up to Mr. Levine, the English teacher, and raise their right hand while saying Heil Hitler! Now, gifted as this school was, the Holocaust was not yet on the curriculum for 12 yr olds and many of us didn’t have Jewish friends therefore did not know the severity and hurtfulness behind a comment such as this. Nevertheless, common sense was enough to tell us we would be in deep doo-doo if we did watch Mitchell dared. But there was still was no connection to the slur itself or it’s significance in history because we had not yet been exposed to Jewish culture nor were we well versed on the history of the Holocaust. Then in high school, we had a mandatory trip to see Schindler’s List and it all became very clear. (@Chemgal..maybe you should invite the kids in your town to a viewing of Rosewood, lol Knowledge is power!)

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