29 Sep 2015 11:00am
WINDHOEK, 29 SEP (NAMPA) The Namibian Government remains committed to womens empowerment, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah says.
Nandi-Ndaitwah said this at United Nations (UN) Womens Global Leaders Meeting on Gender Equality and Womens Empowerment: A Commitment to Action in New York on Sunday.
The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, also known as UN Women, is a United Nations entity that works for the empowerment of women.
As part of the meeting, some 80 world leaders convened at the United Nations to personally commit to ending discrimination against women by 2030 and announce concrete and measurable actions to kick-start rapid change in their countries.
In her statement unveiled to Nampa by the Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation on Monday, Nandi-Ndaitwah said the government of Namibia is committed to ensuring the protection of women's rights and to ensuring that they have access to services such as education, health and employment opportunities.
The Deputy PM said Namibia signed and ratified regional and international instruments aimed at the promotion of gender equality and women empowerment, and is also party to the Beijing Platform for Action.
World leaders affirmed their political commitment towards gender equality and the empowerment of women by adopting the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action at the fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995.
The Beijing Platform for Action still remains a powerful guidance and source of inspiration to all of us, Nandi-Ndaitwah said.
The Deputy PM noted that Namibia has passed laws such as the Married Person's Equality Act, the Combating of Rape Act, and Child Care and Protection Law as a first step toward implementing the regional and international instruments it signed and ratified.
Since the adoption of the convention, Namibia has had achievements such as more girls enrolling in primary and secondary school, as well as an increase in the enrolment ratio of girls to boys.
Namibia has also seen a remarkable increase in the representation of women in the National Assembly - from 24 per cent in 2009 to 47 per cent in 2015.
This increase was largely influenced by the adoption of the 50/50 gender representation policy of governing Swapo Party, said Ndaitwah.
In Namibia, the Prime Minister (Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila) and Deputy Prime Minister (Nandi-Ndaitwah) are both women. Local Authority laws also entail a quota system, which has made it possible for over 40 per cent of Local Authorities to be headed by women.
The Deputy PM further said the National Gender Plan for Action 2010-2020 includes two critical areas of concern, which are peace-building, conflict resolution and natural disaster management; and gender equality in the family context.
We have established a Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare to spearhead and mainstream gender issues and to ensure that women and girls are given equal opportunities to achieve their full potential, she added.
Nandi-Ndaitwah further said despite these achievements, there are still some challenges and gaps faced by the government, but it is committed to fighting gender-based violence and ensuring that women as agents of peace play their role at community, national and international level.