WINDHOEK: President Hifikepunye Pohamba says once the revised National Gender Policy is properly implemented, the challenges facing Namibian women will be successfully addressed.
President Pohamba said this whilst speaking at the inauguration of the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare’s new head office in the capital on Thursday.
“Despite the progress made by the government to date, many challenges remain,” he said, adding that Namibian women still face a number of challenges, such as the high rate of gender-based violence, and intra-household inequality.
“Other challenges include the high number of maternal deaths and under-representation in decision-making bodies in both the public and private sector,” he noted before calling on all stakeholders to work together to advance the march towards gender equality in society.
The Head of State further said the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare plays a central role in ensuring that Namibia becomes a society of equal opportunities for both men and women, boys and girls. The ministry is also tasked with the responsibility of promoting gender equality and providing assistance to orphans and vulnerable children through community development and child welfare programmes.
“We in Government view the empowerment and safeguarding of women’s rights as one of the important national priorities,” he said.
Pohamba said the construction of the new office block for the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare forms part of tGovernment’s broader strategy to improve public service delivery through infrastructure development.
The office block has 138 offices which can accommodate 162 staff members. More offices will become available when the renovation of the old office block – the Juvenis Building, better know as the Nictus building – is completed.
“We will continue to invest in the development of infrastructure such as this so that our people can have easy access to public services,” he said.
The president also said Government will continue to empower women by providing grants for them to start income generating projects.
“These grants are aimed at assisting women to uplift their livelihoods. By doing so we aim to improve the living conditions of our communities,” Pohamba said.
President Pohamba used the platform to urge all stakeholders, including non-governmental organisations (NGOs), to join hands with Government in helping to address the escalating of gender-based violence perpetrated against vulnerable members of the society, particularly women and children.
Cabinet Ministers, parliamentarians, members of the diplomatic community accredited to Namibia, and members of the public attended the event.