WINDHOEK: Member of Parliament (MP) Moses Amweelo says the 127th Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) assembly meeting held in Canada recently discussed female participation in politics and governance, amongst a number of other issues.
The IPU is a world organisation representing 162 national parliaments from around the globe. Formed in 1889, it serves as a global forum for parliamentary dialogue, cooperation and action.
It also advances democracy, and assists member parliaments and parliamentarians throughout the world to fulfill their parliamentary mandates.
Amweelo held a media briefing on Tuesday to explain what the close to 1 500 parliamentarians discussed at the 127th assembly and related meetings of the union.
He said a special session on gender partnership allowed parliamentarians to discuss what constitutes gender-sensitive parliaments, and also stated that there is a need for special measures to pave the way for women’s full participation in politics and governance.
“Delegates identified the objectives of gender-sensitive parliaments, and concrete strategies for achieving such institutions. The special session resulted in the preparation and adoption of a plan of action by the Assembly,” Amweelo explained.
He said despite women representing half the global population, they represent only 20 per cent of the 46 000 parliamentarians in the world.
Thus, in a bid to address this systematically and to transform the way parliaments address gender equality issues, IPU members have committed to a comprehensive plan of action on the issue.
This plan not only tackles women’s access to parliaments, but also parity within roles and ranks inside parliament, legal frameworks, improving the gender infrastructure and culture within parliaments and engaging political parties to effect change on the issue.
Amweelo further stated that the assembly also discussed creating employment opportunities for the youth, as unemployment has reached very high levels in various countries because of the continuous effects of the global financial and economic crisis.
“In many developed, least-developed and developing countries, including Namibia, there is a serious shortage of employment opportunities for the youth, creating disillusionment and frustration for many young people,” the MP stated.
The meeting also discussed topics such as sustainable development, finance and trade as well as democracy and human rights.
It took place from 21 October to 26 October this year in Quebec, Canada.
It was held under the theme “Citizenship, Identity and Linguistic and Cultural Diversity in a Globalised World”.