SWAKOPMUND: Tertiary institutions in Namibia should embark on developing the required gender capacity and skills in the country to achieve gender equality and women’s empowerment.
This is according to a statement issued on Friday by the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare at the end of a four-day training workshop for Members of Parliament (MPs) and technical staff from Parliament on the Multi-Sectoral Approach (MSA) to women’s rights in Africa.
The workshop was organised by the Ministry of Gender Equality in collaboration with the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, also known as UN Women.
It commenced on Tuesday and ended Friday.
According to the statement, the MPs “recognised that there is a strong link between experience and research of the promotion of women’s human rights, sustainable development and the achievement of development goals for all people”.
The statement noted that there is a need to strengthen the voices of women and girls in various ways, such as the “women’s movement”, which requires strengthening.
The MPs therefore recommended that an electoral law that guarantees reserved seats or quotas for women in Parliament should be passed. This they said would raise the proportion of women in Parliament from the current 25.7 per cent to 50 per cent by 2015, as recommended by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocol on Gender and Development, to which Namibia is a party.
The MPs acknowledged the strong political commitment of Government towards gender equality and women’s empowerment as seen in the Namibian Constitution, the National Gender Policy and the various National Development Plans (NDPs).
However, it was recommended that all political parties should take immediate steps to promote gender equality in their respective party structures, policy documents, manifestos and party lists, as well as to support the electoral reform processes.
Additionally, all stakeholders including the public and private sector, non-governmental organisations and faith-based organisations should take immediate steps for a gender perspective in all their operations to accelerate gender equality and women’s empowerment in Namibia.
The workshop also recommended that all national gender reports should be distributed widely to ensure that all stakeholders are updated on national progress with respect to the fulfilment of national commitments to women’s rights.