Zebra-style or bust: Cabinet

11 Jun 2014 17:30pm
WINDHOEK, 11 JUN (NAMPA) – Cabinet wants the Electoral Act of 1992 to be amended so it becomes mandatory for all political parties to present a party list in zebra-style to the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN).
Zebra-style refers to equal representation of men and women in decision-making positions.
“Political parties that do not adhere to this directive will be disqualified to partake in the upcoming Presidential and National Assembly (NA) elections and subsequent national elections,” read a statement issued by Cabinet chambers on Wednesday.
Cabinet took this decision during its Third Ordinary meeting held on 25 March this year.
Cabinet further resolved that recommendations from the Women in Politics and Decision-Making in Namibia Conference held in November last year, be implemented by all concerned institutions.
These institutions include the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare, other line ministries, agencies and political parties.
The Gender Equality Ministry held two meetings in the 2012/2013 financial year in efforts to ensure that the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocol on Gender and Development is understood and implemented.
These meetings were held with Members of Parliament (MP) and political parties, respectively to develop strategies and activities toward achieving 50/50 representation in decision-making positions, and to enable participants to understand the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development at party level.
Other objectives of the meetings were to equip women in leadership and decision-making with the requisite skills, necessary for self and collective advancement.
The Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare has earlier noted slow progress regarding gender equality in the country, where the proportion of women in the NA was 30 per cent during the 2005 national elections and dropped to 25 per cent during the 2009 elections.