Sioka says gender equality yet to be achieved

05 Aug 2019 16:30pm
WINDHOEK, 05 AUG (NAMPA) - Many African nations have made progress on women emancipation, empowerment and general support to promote gender equality, but women still face challenges that hamper access to universal human rights despite several instruments that have been ratified and acts enacted.
This was said here on Monday by Minister of Gender Equality and Child Welfare, Doreen Sioka at the opening of the Pan African Women’s Organisation’s Southern Africa Regional Office (PAWO-SARO) secretariat meeting, in a speech read on her behalf.
The two-day meeting will see the PAWO-SARO secretariat assess the implementation of their programmes.
“I regard this meeting as very critical as it grants women leaders across the region to listen to their countries’ various reports and assess progress made in the programmes carefully selected to advance women, youth and children welfare and empowerment efforts,” Sioka said.
She added the meeting will help women to collectively design plans of action to address the identified stumbling blocks, depending on individual country specific needs.
She said Namibia’s commitment to gender equality is unquestionable as its constitution has outlawed gender discrimination policies since 1992, two years after independence.
“It is common knowledge that countries are good at ratifying legal instruments and enhancing acts, but the implementation process is at times not that easy,” she noted.
Sioka said this is not the case with Namibia, adding that Namibia’s national leadership continues to reinforce gender responsive actions as part of critical strategies toward gender mainstreaming in the country.
“Namibia continues to strive to achieve the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, paragraph 20, that women and girls must enjoy equal access to quality education, economic resources and political participation as well as equal opportunities with men and boys for employment, leadership and decision making at all levels.”
The minister said discrimination and violence against women and girls will be eliminated, including through engagement of men and boys.
“We are looking forward to hear great strides made in the region through various countries’ reports with the aim to further improve the gender equality record and create conducive environments for our youth and girls to further enjoy equal opportunities,” said Sioka.