AN Award of Silencing Gender-Based and Sexual Violence was bestowed upon the #Shutitdown movement by the African Union Youth Envoy.
The award from the AU Youth Envoy comes with an amount of $US5 000 approximately N$60 000.
The movement, established late last year when it gathered momentum after it organized mass demonstrations across the country, against Sexual and Gender-Based Violence. The hashtag related to the movement trended internationally, sparking international media households like BBC to cover the protests in Namibia. South African media such as News24 also interviewed #Shutitdown protesters from Namibia.
About 20 young protesting men and women, including two minors, were arrested and detained by police officers. Three on-duty journalists were detained for five hours before being released. Their lawyers successfully fought for the withdrawal charges against the protesters the following day.
The Prosecutor General, Martha Imalwa has decided to not prosecute the protesting youth, who vehemently demanded that the Minister of Gender, Doreen Sioka resign. Sioka remains in office.
“Who did that? Young powerful Namibian women! We said no more condemnations. No more prayer days. Only action and accountability,” Bertha Tobias, one of the organizers took to Twitter.
Another organizer, Ndiiilokelwa Nthengwe wrote on her Twitter “We don’t have ‘voiceless’ people, only systems that intentionally and unabashedly ‘silence’. This award proves that young people should not be seen as passive “voiceless” victims, but should be regarded as active, responsive AGENTS capable of effecting change with their voices,” she wrote.