Swapo’s 50-50 representation excites women

21 Sep 2013 08:00
KEETMANSHOOP, 21 SEP (NAMPA) – Executive members of the Swapo-Party Women’s Council (SPWC) across the country are thrilled by their party’s 50/50 gender representation decision enforced on 26 August this year.
Speaking at the official opening of the workshop on International Relations and Foreign Policies attended by 32 members of the SPWC here on Friday, SPWC Secretary Petrina Haingura said Namibian women are excited about the equal gender representation move.
Haingura said as much as they are excited, women must at the same time think of what they want to achieve or change by using their positions.
She continued that the decision is a clear sign for women empowerment, stating that they are ready to make changes to better their lives.
“Some people think once women are in positions of power the country will be corrupt. That is not true, we run our houses perfectly. In my house I am a Minister of Finance and everything, so why do they think we cannot be good leaders outside our houses,” Haingura said.
The two-day workshop also looked at lobbying and advocacy issues, health, education, infrastructure and municipal issues such as rubbish collection.
//Karas Governor Bernardus Swartbooi, who officiated at the opening of the workshop, said the equal gender representation in the party has changed the gender debate in the country, because now it is no more men versus women.
Swartbooi said the move also places heavy burden on women to produce transformational leaders with unity of purpose for the party and country at large.
He urged women to make sure that 50 per cent of business empowerment and jobs in the country lies with them.
“If society fails, you too will bear 50 per cent of the blame. If children go hungry or women and children are abused, 50 per cent of the blame comes to you women,” the governor said.
Women who attended the workshop were encouraged to pass on the lessons to other females in their respective regions to make sure everyone is well acquainted with international relations and policies.
This will allow them to function effectively in the global world and make the right decisions on what they want to achieve.
Political Analyst Phanuel Kaapama facilitated the workshop, which was also attended by SPWC executive members from the Omusati, Kavango, Kunene, Oshikoto, Otjozondjupa, Hardap and Khomas regions.
Under the newly-amended Swapo-Party Constitution, all party structures are compelled to comply with the 50/50 gender representation by adopting the ‘zebra style’ electoral system.
These amendments were passed by the party’s Extra-Ordinary Congress held in Swakopmund in June this year, and affect all party structures - from sections, branches, district and regional level up to national level and the upper structures of the party, including the top four positions.
The top four positions in Swapo are the party president, vice-president, secretary-general, and deputy secretary-general.