PDM’s Dienda labels President’s Cabinet reshuffle anti-women

13 Feb 2018 16:00pm
WINDHOEK, 13 FEB (NAMPA) – The Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) has expressed concern about President Hage Geingob’s recent Cabinet reshuffle, claiming that it totally missed some critical aspects of competency and gender balance.
PDM Member of Parliament, Elma Dienda in a media release issued on Tuesday said the President’s decisions have proven to women that there is hardly an opportunity for them in the executive given the fact that the reshuffle was in part due to two female ministers, Sophia Shaningwa from the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development and Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana from the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration leaving their positions.
“This was an opportunity due to female candidates,” she said.
In the same vein, said Dienda, the Director of the National Planning Commission, Minister of Sports, Youth and National Service, and Minister of Mines and Energy were all deputised by women, and instead of elevating them to the executive position, they remained where they were.
“It is very sad that the President has turned a blind eye to this, with the little progress made so far in empowering women in our country, this exclusion sets us some steps backwards in as far as gender equality is concerned.”
Dienda referenced the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Gender Monitor, which states that the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development aims to empower women socially, economically and politically, eliminate discrimination and achieve gender equality through gender responsive legislation, policies and projects.
“The SADC Gender Monitor further indicates that the protocol caters for constitutional and legal rights, governance, education and training, productive resources and employment, among other issues that affect women,” she added.
The PDM member nonetheless expressed satisfaction with the top ministerial portfolios driven by women. She however said the failure to include women in the recent changes to the executive is an indication of retrogression in reaching gender balance in legislature and key decision-making positions.
“We therefore call upon the President to consider gender in his equation to ensure that women are equally appointed and treated the same as our counterparts.”