Iipinge tables provision of Maputo Protocol in National Assembly

05 Jun 2019 11:30am
WINDHOEK, 05 JUN (NAMPA) – SWAPO Member of Parliament (MP) Eunice Iipinge on Tuesday tabled the implementation Article 9 of the Maputo Protocol in the National Assembly (NA) in the capital.
Iipinge said the Maputo Protocol focuses on the rights of women in Africa, adding that it provides for specific rights of women including girls and obligates member states to eliminate all forms of discrimination and violence against women, while enhancing women participation in political and decision-making processes.
“As a state member to the Protocol, we have multiple obligations across various sectors under the Protocol. Today, I wish to draw the attention of this House to the provisions of Article 9 of the Protocol,” said Iipinge.
She emphasised that Parliamentarians can amend the necessary legislation to ensure that all elections and political party lists are aimed at reaching the highest possible equality in representation between men and women in line with the commitments made in the Maputo Protocol.
“I therefore propose that the Electoral Act, 2014 and the Local Authorities Act, 1992 be amended to include a provision that demands that all political parties implement 50:50 gender policy,” stated Iipinge.
The motion was not well received by opposition political parties however, with some citing forcefulness and a lack of consultation by the ruling party.
The leader of the official opposition, Henry Venaani, responded by saying his supports the philosophy of gender balance but that he is however doubtful about the legality of the law.
“I am supporting the thinking, but not the way Swapo is imposing how other political parties should run their internal affairs,” said Venaani.
Joining the debate was the leader of Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP), Mike Kavekotora, who said the lawmakers should be very careful before passing any law because if rushed, it might have future negative effects on the population.
“We must first understand the context of the Maputo Protocol before jumping to conclusions,” said Kavekotora.
Namibia is a signatory member to the Maputo Protocol, which was ratified in 2003.