CoTA students protest against harassment

Tired of cat-calls

16 March 2021 | Crime

College of the Arts (CoTA) students in Katutura on Monday held a peaceful protest against alleged sexual harassment of female students by mechanics working at the old compound and Windhoek-Okahandja taxi operators.
The mechanics and the taxi operators operate their businesses in the vicinity of the college.
The students aired their frustrations and attempted to engage the perpetrators, who did not pay them much attention, saying that the students’ dress code is the reason they sexually harass them.
Speaking to Nampa on behalf of the students, president of the CoTA student representative council, Titus Augustinus, said the protest was prompted by the constant complaints of sexual harassment by students. He said they want to raise awareness and make it known to these men that what they are doing is wrong, degrading and a violation of their rights.

‘Falling on deaf ears’
Also speaking to this agency after the protest was COTA’s acting head for the department of media, arts and technology studies, Anthony Auchab, who said the students have been experiencing ongoing harassment daily for years. He said previous engagements with the perpetrators regarding this matter have fallen on deaf ears.
“Nobody should ever prescribe to the next person how they should dress. My morals are not your morals. When the students pass there they should be able to feel free and not be in constant fear of being touched inappropriately,” he said.
He went on to say the students want to raise awareness regarding the matter, adding that the actions of these men can easily lead to physiological trauma.
“These men have absolutely no regard for the students; they cat-call, they whistle, they touch. So we hope that from here on our students will be heard,” he said.
On her part CoTA Rector Angelika Schroeder, who also joined the students in protest, lauded the initiative taken by the students, saying sexual harassment does not end with the female students as male students might have experienced the same thing, although they have not come forward with complaints in this regard. – Nampa

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