Women in rural areas to be recognised in policy development

08 Mar 2017 09:50am
WINDHOEK, 08 MAR (NAMPA) – The Namibia Development Trust (NDT) has developed a project to strengthen the ability of women in rural areas to actively participate in the formulation of policies affecting their lives.
It aims to strengthen and enhance the sustainability of self-organisation by women in rural areas to maximise their agency in influencing policies.
This project will be facilitated through the Namibia Rural Women Assembly (NRWA), an organisation developed out of the Namibia National Farmers’ Union in 2009.
NDT is an organisation that was developed in 1987 by the Council of Churches in Namibia, Namibia National Students’ Organisation and National Union of Namibian Workers to act as channel for funding for victims of apartheid.
Today, it plays a key role in the building of people’s organisations.
Deputy Minister of Gender Equality and Child Welfare, Lucia Witbooi launched the project on Tuesday, with 28 NRWA representatives from rural areas in Namibia’s 14 regions being the focal persons.
Witbooi said the project amplifies the voice of rural women by enabling them, through the two representatives from each region, to contribute to development policy and legislation.
“When the voices of women are heard it enables them to influence policies that impact their lives and strengthen the self-organisation of rural women.”
The project will facilitate meetings in villages and involve rural women to raise awareness of their rights and to solicit advocacy for participation in policy development by trained women.
NDT Executive Director, Ronny Dempers said the project is an encouraging development, which will empower rural women as individuals and as a collective to become active participants in their own development process.
The Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa donated N.dollars 1 million to the project over 12 months.
The 28 women leaders, two from each of the 14 regions, attended three days of training in their duties as representatives and advocates for women’s participation.
So far, NRWA has recruited 1 205 potential members across all regions.