Namibia should be transformed through gender equality: Gbeho

20 Mar 2018 08:20am
WINDHOEK, 20 MAR (NAMPA) – Namibian society must be transformed through the fifth Sustainable Development Goal, which deals with the achievement of gender equality and empowerment.
This was said by United Nations Resident Coordinator and UN Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative to Namibia, Anita Kiki Gbeho during the official opening of the International Women’s Day round table discussion held in Windhoek on Monday.
She said SDG5 aims to empower women and girls, who are half of the world’s population.
“You just have to open the newspaper and read stories of women being beaten, or worse, killed, or hear about babies being abandoned, or even engage in the social debate around the credibility and role of empowered women, to realise the serious task that lies before us,” Gbeho said.
The UN Resident Coordinator further emphasised the importance of empowerment by saying a child with a mother with some formal education is more likely to survive until their fifth birthday and receive adequate nutrition.
Such children are also more likely to be immunised and enrolled in school.
Victor Shipoh, a director in the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare (MGECW), said it is necessary for men to be taught that women’s empowerment should not be seen as a threat.
“We cannot talk about gender equality in the absence of men if we ever want achievements in this regard,” he said.
Chief Commercial Officer at the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) Umbi Karuaihe-Upi, who was also a panellist at the discussion, said women should take the lead in sensitising people about empowerment and gender equality.
“I know we are the majority, but the truth is we are a silent majority and our pace of breaking the silence on what is hurting us, is very slow,” she said.
The discussion was hosted by the MGECW, the Namibia University of Science and Technology’s Communication Department and the UN.