22 Nov 2018 18:10pm
WINDHOEK, 22 NOV (NAMPA) Voices around gender equality and womens empowerment are gaining momentum, Minister of Gender Equality and Child Welfare (MGECW), Doreen Sioka said on Wednesday.
She made this remark in a speech read on her behalf at the official opening of the three-day African Women Conference (AWC) in Windhoek.
Womens empowerment and development is a holistic process that ultimately leads to women and girls taking action and being in charge of productive resources, decision-making and power in relation to men and boys, she noted.
The minister further emphasised on the prioritisation of gender responsive education programmes at all levels of education to ensure that Africa harnesses the demographic dividend through investing in the youth.
There is a need for the implementation of the Cairo Action Plan for the empowerment of women and an effective response to the needs of education and health, including reproductive health, she said.
Sioka also said that violence against women is a violation of fundamental human rights and a social cost that represents a crosscutting issue and collective burden.
The whole society needs to be committed in the fight against such a disruptive phenomenon and priority needs to be given to the prevention, protection of survivors and rehabilitation of perpetrators as well as to strengthen coordination of efforts, said Sioka.
Echoing Siokas sentiments, Binta Masi Garba, the chairperson of the Senate Committee on Women Affairs in Nigeria urged participants to work together with the various governments to make meaningful progress in the empowerment of the African child.
We must encourage our governments to have budgetary allocations for programmes that have to do with childrens nutrition and education as the good health and proper education of our children are key to our nations development and that of Africa, she noted.
The AWC is an annual gathering of women of Africa and of African descent in various fields of human endeavour with a common interest to inspire, deliberate and together set the agenda for sustainable growth of the African woman.