On the same day they celebrate International Human Rights Day, December 10, the people of Namibia also celebrate Women’s Day. The day is set aside to commemorate the United Nation’s adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1950.
|2019||10 Dec||Tue||Human Rights Day / Women's Day|
|2020||10 Dec||Thu||Human Rights Day / Women's Day|
Human Rights Day
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was drafted by delegates to the United Nations from 1946 to 1948 and has become standard of principles for human rights. The document provides that all human beings are born equal and that everyone is entitled to the rights set forth in the declaration regardless of race, colour, sex language, religion or political affiliation. After the passage of the declaration, International Human Rights Day was established on December 10 each year to commemorate the adoption of the document.
Namibian Women’s Day
Although Namibian Women’s Day has been celebrated in March in past years, recent celebrations have been held on December 10. The day recognised women’s voices which are rarely heard, focusing on the need to protect women, keeping them safe from brutalisation. Over the years, women in Namibia have suffered discrimination and exclusion from politics, employment and cultural events. Much of this is due to cultural perceptions of women throughout the country. The creation of Namibian Women’s Day is designed to help women develop a louder voice in their society.
Traditions and Celebrations
The day is normally celebrated by speeches and conferences designed to promote human rights, some focused on all humans and others focused on women. Businesses, offices and schools are closed so that citizens can celebrate the day. There are many street celebrations in major cities and towns while villages may have festivals on a smaller scale. There are parades and presentations by government leaders in the capital city of Windhoek.
Although the day is meant to be a celebration, many conferences held throughout the country discuss continued issues facing humans in Namibia. Approximately 90 percent of Namibians continue to face life-threatening socio-economic hardships, including poverty, social exclusion, high unemployment and gender-based violence. The focus of the day is to try to meet the needs of those who are facing difficulty and develop methods for improving their lifestyles. There are discussions about the right to adequate standards of living, the right to health and the right to education. There is often discussion about how the government has failed to improve human rights for both men and women throughout the country.