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Namibia: Demonstrators hit the streets of Namibia’s capital, Windhoek, to protest against gender-based violence following the brutal murder of a woman was discovered this week.

The body of Shannon Wasserfall, 22, who went missing six months ago,
was discovered in a shallow grave in Walvis Bay, according to BBC News.

Police found Wasserfall’s body after her father, Tega Mathews, shared a text message he received revealing the location of his late daughter’s remains

Protestors gathered in the city center before marching to the Windhoek Central Police Station and Ministry of Justice on Independence Avenue, before settling outside of Namibia’s parliament building.

Shannon’s uncle Raymond Wasserfall said the demonstrations were to press for more decisive police action in Namibia in GBV and human trafficking cases.

“We will hand a petition over to the mayor. There needs to be some pressure on the police. A lot is happening – especially with human trafficking. Many women are being violated. We need change,” he said.

Black Women and Sacrifice

Gender-based violence has been a burning issue for the country. Namibian Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila revealed that police received 107,403 reports of gender-based violence between 2014 and July 2018.

Earlier this year, Hendrick Olivier, the chief inspector of the police’s Gender-based Violence Protection Unit in Windhoek, told reporters that the unit receives between 200 and 300 reports of cases under the Domestic Violence Act each month.

“It was devastating,” Mathews told The Namibian. “My hope was that she would be found. We hoped for the best, but also prepared for the worst …” he said.

National Unity Democratic Organisation secretary-general Joseph Kauandenge believes that the mindset that women belong to their male counterparts is the main drive behind the violence.

“Our society needs redirection and this must start with deliberate programs at primary school to rewire our young people towards a culture of treating [women] as their equals and people to be protected,” he said.

As the battle to bring Wasserfall’s killers to justice continues, local police announced on Thursday morning that a woman has been brought in for questioning in connection with her murder.

Women’s rights activists in Botswana are applauding the government’s decision to allow wives to own land alongside her husband. Women’s groups say the action allows women to be independent in marriages and also have the same rights to land as any other person

On Thursday, President Mokgweetsi Masisi amended a 2015 Land Policy which stopped wives from owning land if their husbands already owned property.

“The Botswana Land Policy 2015 was discriminatory against married women and did not give them equal treatment with men, and I am happy to report that this discriminatory sub-section has since been repealed,” the president said at a virtual briefing.

Facebook on Thursday launched a $40 million grant program for Black-owned businesses hit by the coronavirus pandemic — part of the company’s broader initiative to help Black communities, which it announced in June.

The company plans to issue 10,000 grants to Black entrepreneurs with up to 50 employees. Qualifying individuals can apply online. The deadline to apply is August 31.

The social media company’s Black business grant program is part of the $100 million commitment it made in June to help black communities across the country. Facebook said the initiative was inspired by feedback from employees as well as people who applied for its $40 million Small Business Grants Program, which is aimed at helping small business owners of all races get through the pandemic.

#BuyBlack: 7 Ways To Support Black Owned Businesses

“Since we opened applications for the program, we have seen a huge amount of interest from Black-owned businesses, so we know they are facing enormous challenges,” Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg wrote in a June statement announcing the company’s planned Black community investments. “When we asked for ideas from employees, many suggested that there was much more we could do to support them.

“Virtually all small business owners have struggled since state and local governments ordered nonessential operations to close in March to try to contain the spread of coronavirus. But the shutdowns had a disproportionate impact on small business owners of color, studies have shown.

And Black small business owners have been hit hardest

Facebook to spend $40 million to support Black-owned businesses

Last month, a Black manager at Facebook and two other Black people who applied for jobs there filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for alleged discrimination.

The company also faced a July boycott led by the social justice group Color of Change and the media activist group Free Press, whose supporters took issue with how Facebook has policed hate speech and misinformation on its platforms.

The controversy grew after Facebook chose not to take action on a series of racially charged posts made by President Donald Trump, including one that said “looting” during the racial justice protests that erupted after George Floyd was killed would lead to “shooting.”