Gender equality should be a shared responsibility: Nghidinwa

25 Nov 2013 17:10pm
WALVIS BAY, 25 NOV (NAMPA) – Gender Equality and Child Welfare Minister Rosalia Nghidinwa says the implementation of gender equality should become the responsibility of all stakeholders, and not only the responsibility of her ministry.
She said this during the closing ceremony of a three-day conference on ‘Women in politics and decision-making’ here on Sunday.
The conference, which was attended by Southern African Development Community (SADC) Members of Parliament and representatives of regional councils and local authorities, provided a platform for delegates to reflect on the importance of 50/50 gender representation, particularly in view of Namibia's 2014 general elections.
The key focus of the conference was placed on how women can build on already secured space within Parliament and political parties for effective participation in politics across parties.
Nghidinwa indicated in her closing remarks that Minister of Finance Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila had pledged to mainstream gender in the national budget, while issues of maternity leave and property rights - including land and gender issues - were discussed in depth.
“We have learned and shared experiences throughout this conference about the multiple challenges faced by women on the way to occupying their rightful political and decision-making positions at all levels,” she indicated.
The minister noted that some challenges hindering women from participating in economic emancipation, which is the biggest male-dominated space, were put on the table for review and solutions were discussed.
“Special remedies were suggested such as the Special Development Fund (SDF) and a Special Window for Women to allow women to access soft loans and improve their standard of living so as to contribute to the socio-economic status of the country,” the Gender Equality Minister stated.
One of the recommendations made during the conference was that the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare (MGECW) should, along with Government Ministries and Agencies (OMAs), design an educational programme on gender equality which will target grassroots and rural communities.
Another recommendation indicated that OMAs should work on an electoral law which will consider legislation and the 50/50 gender equality provision which all political parties need to adhere to.
The women’s conference also made a strong recommendation for all political parties to review their constitutions and make provision for equal women’s representation in their structures, as well as integrate gender perspectives in their manifestos and programmes.