Upon the announcement of #NamLockdown the inequalities within our country were highlighted. It is imperative in these uncertain times that we deal with these inequalities which were raised by our fellow Namibians with great urgency because we are fighting a war to protect our National Health. The COVID – 19 Pandemic has exposed multiple insecurities within our societies which serve as a great threat to our National Security. In Namibia, our security has mainly been viewed through a masculine lens reflecting the experiences and interests of men. We have believed that to achieve peace we need to project power. This approach to security has been largely successful in maintaining our National Security, as we have had the luxury of benefitting from three decades of Peace and Stability.
Some of the pressing insecurities which were raised not only in Namibia but on the African Continent are the lack of proper sanitation in clustered communities, communal toilets, lack or no running water, panic buying, education put on hold, the strain on the economy as a result of a loss of income and jobs, alcoholism, and an increase in domestic and Gender Based Violence because survivors are locked in with their perpetrators. These are all serious insecurities which not only threatens our National Security but it is a direct threat for our Human Security. Human Security is globally described as ‘Freedom from Fear, Freedom from Want and to Live in Dignity’. Human Security addresses a holistic approach to security ensuring that we have food security, political security, community security, economic security, environmental security and personal security.
Despite all the despondency I believe that this Global Pandemic, COVID – 19 has allowed us an opportunity for the Women, Peace and Security Agenda to be implemented and to take the lead in fighting this Health Crisis. The WPS Agenda emphasises the transformative potential of including victims of crisis in particular women as actors in peace and security. We need all women in the Security Sector and Political decision – making positions to seize this opportunity to challenge the stereotype that women are merely benchwarmers. I appeal that women should exhibit their meaningful contribution in the Security Sector by progressively driving policy, implementing the Women, Peace and Security Agenda. And most importantly prove that we need a Reform in our Security Sector which allows for us to not look at Human Security and National Security as mutually exclusive. Rather that Human Security is a holistic means to achieve National Security because it makes people the centre and creates for dialogues between the state and people. Because if our people are secure our nation is guaranteed to be secure.
Nicole A. Willemse
Honours Politics Student
Bournemouth University, UK