Transition Towards Gender Equality. Namibia Between the Empowerment of Women and Violence of Men

  • Foreword by Jennifer R. Wies
  • Language: English
  • Vol. 28, 2023
  • ISBN 978-3-906927-54-1
  • eISBN 978-3-906927-55-8
  • ISSN 2234-9561
  • eISSN 2297-458X
Sonja Gierse-Arsten

Transition Towards Gender Equality. Namibia Between the Empowerment of Women and Violence of Men

Worldwide, Namibia ranks high regarding gender equality. However, many women are intimidated by violence perpetrated by men. This book is based on a social anthropological field research in the small town of Outjo, situated in Northern Central Namibia, over a period of 14 months. Gender is learnt, lived and reproduced in a societal frame. Violence against women, too, is perpetrated by men in a societal context. By using mainly qualitative research methods Sonja Gierse-Arsten looks at male and female perspectives to reach a holistic understanding and to provide a basis for sustainable changes towards equal gender relations. She traces the transition from a hierarchical gender system during colonial times to the aspired equal gender relations in present Namibia. Current challenges characterised by poverty and great economic inequalities form the framework in which gender is performed and violence perpetrated. This study offers inspirations to re-think gender to reach substantive gender equality and to overcome the normalisation of violence.

Sonja Gierse-Arsten started the research within the multidisciplinary research centre ACACIA at the University of Cologne (Germany). She obtained her PhD in Social and Cultural Anthropology by the University of Marburg (Germany) for the thesis which comprises this book.

Foreword by Jennifer R. Wies
1 Introduction
2 Gender and violence in Namibia before Independence
3 Aspirations towards equality and challenges since Independence
4 Uncertainties in times of change
5 Changing and ambiguous gender constructions
6 Lack of respect? – Perspectives of males
7 Women’s empowerment? – Perspectives of females
8 Males violate females: violated equality
9 Conclusions: Gender (in-)equality struggles

Shopping Cart

No products in the cart.


To receive information on new publications and upcoming events, subscribe to our