Namibian women concerned about fellow women in Africa

28 Jun 2015 16:20pm
OKAHAO, 28 JUN (NAMPA) – Namibian women are proud of the peace and stability that is prevailing in the country for the past 25 years of national freedom and independence.
Gender Equality and Child Welfare Deputy Minister, Lucia Witbooi said this whilst addressing a belated celebration of International Women’s Day by members of the Omusati Region’s Swapo-Party Women’s Council (SPWC) at Okahao on Saturday.
“We need peace in Africa and peace in the world. Without peace, there will be no development; obviously there will be no empowerment of women,” Witbooi told her audience.
She indicated that Namibian women, if not all women in Africa, have a serious concern about their fellow women who are suffering in countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Nigeria, Central Africa Republic and Palestine.
“We support Aspiration 4 of the Africa Agenda 2063 for a peaceful and secure Africa, that by 2020 guns will be silent,” the new deputy minister stated.
Africa Agenda 2063 is a visionary statement and action plan by the African Union to have African societies utilise the sources of their rich continent in ways that benefit its people.
She then called on Namibian women to rededicate their efforts in whatever they are doing to shape the future of Namibian children, and to be their role models at all cost.
Witbooi wants to see women’s empowerment starting within the women themselves. She used the same platform to urge all political parties in Namibia to adopt a zebra listing, which aims at achieving 50/50 (equal) men and women representation in decision-making organs.
“Namibia held a very successful election in 2014 and we are very proud to say the number of women in politics, especially in the National Assembly (NA), has increased tremendously from 24 to 46 per cent,” she noted.
Namibia’s achievement of 46 per cent women’s representation in the NA, Witbooi said, is a big step towards the achievement of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocol on Gender target of 50 per cent women’s representation by 2015.
She expressed hope that the remaining 4 per cent of women’s representation in the NA will be achieved in the Regional and Local Authorities elections expected to take place later this year, as well as the next general elections in four years' time.
Speaking at the same event, Coordinator of the SPWC in the Omusati Region, Rachel Shoopala encouraged the women of her region to avail themselves for election as councillors during the upcoming Regional and Local Authorities elections.
“The Omusati Regional Council has only one woman councillor all these years, but I want to see seven women councillors to five men councillors in our regional council after the forthcoming elections,” Shoopala urged.
The International Women’s Day aims that all nations worldwide eliminate all forms of discrimination against women, focussing on helping women gain full and equal participation in the socio-economic and political development. The Day is celebrated on 08 March each year.