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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Writers and teachers as agents of social change
Author:Broekhoff, Marna
Periodical:Journal for Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences (ISSN 2026-7215)
Geographic term:Namibia
gender roles
Abstract:This paper explains how a grass-roots writing project works and how to replicate it, using the case of the Women's Leadership Centre (WLC), which was founded in 2004 with the primary purpose of fostering women's writings as a means of female consciousness-raising, empowerment, creative expression, and resistance to a male-dominated culture. The focus is on a WLC anthology, 'We must choose life: writings by Namibian women on culture, violence, HIV and AIDS,' which provides a human dimension to the cold facts and figures. It comprises 17 sections about the impact of AIDS on women, reactions to AIDS diagnoses, cultural issues and sexual violence, poverty and AIDS, and ignorance and HIV/AIDS. The anthology gives an explanation of the root cause of the AIDS pandemic: not lack of education, but the male-dominated culture, which both genders are programmed to accept, both believing that 'a respected woman is quiet, obedient, hardworking, and married.' The author concludes that traditional cultural practices in Namibia impact people's behaviour far more than educational leaflets or Constitutional 'guarantees' of gender equality. Bibliogr., sum. [ASC Leiden abstract]