NKURENKURU – Founding President Sam Nujoma has called on the Swapo Party Women’s Council to transform itself into a formidable force to be reckoned with in the Namibian society as far as women and children’s matters are concerned.
Nujoma’s remarks were read on his behalf by Kavango West governor Sirkka Ausiku on Saturday during the official opening of the three-day SPWC induction workshop in Nkurenkuru.
The meeting is intended for SPWC leaders from Zambezi, Kavango East, Kavango West, Otjozondjupa and Ohangwena regions.
The founding president observed that the orientation programme was a step towards empowering women with the necessary skills to make invaluable additions to society.
“You ought not to neglect the nurturing and mentoring of young women into leadership positions as it is imperative for continuity. Equally, do not neglect the boy child. Be deliberate in your efforts towards roping in young women and harnessing their potential for the greater benefit of the SPWC and the party, by extension,’’ he said.
Nujoma stated that the SPWC has made noteworthy strides in capacitating its rank and file to maximise performance and productivity, noting that the essence of the council’s objectives for capacity building is contained in the theme under which the programme was being conducted, ‘Re-Imaging Inclusive Development Through Service Delivery’.
“I congratulate the entire leadership of the SPWC for emerging unified after their elective congress. In this regard, the role played by women in the attainment of Namibia’s independence is indisputable. Indeed, it was the revolutionary spirit embodied in Namibian women that facilitated the establishment of the Swapo Party Women’s Council in 1969/1970,” he noted.
“Against this background, Swapo adopted a policy of gender equality which was instrumental in forming a foundation for the inclusion of women in leadership. Today, we are witnessing the fruits of this policy, in the implementation of the 50/50 gender representation, also known as the Zebra Style,’’ Nujoma said in a speech.
The founding president told the SPWC to desist from thinking that the party have reached their destination, as women in Namibia continue to be victims of sexual and gender-based violence. He noted young girls are still faced with impediments such as lack of menstrual products and being subjected to child marriages, which hinders their access to education.
“There remains a need for greater inclusion of women in decision making positions. We have much work to do now more than ever before,” he said.
SPWC secretary Fransina Kahungu in her speech said the bankruptcy of effective leadership has been notable worldwide.
“Generations after generations have craved political leadership that is truly rooted in the essential virtues of leadership. These virtues include, but are not limited to the following: honesty, decisiveness, clarity of purpose, servanthood and accountability as well as fairness and transparency including sound judgement and inclusivity amongst others,’’ Kahungu noted.
She further said despite the ever-growing concern over the lack thereof, women in politics have always been regarded as primary enablers in the inculcation and preservation of the said values. Thus, women at all levels of leadership must be capacitated with the necessary skills, not only for the attainment of short-term goals but also for long-term goals, including the preservation of nations and their specific institutions.
“Swapo is no exception to the foregoing,” she said.
“Therefore, the SPWC as an extension or sub-structure of the party is contributing to the making of leaders for the long-term benefit of society and the everlasting wellbeing of the party, by capacitating solidarity - freedom - justice in its members at all levels. This is to be done through this - leadership orientation programme, which for logistic reasons will be conducted on a regional cluster basis, and for its effectiveness, the focus will primarily be on those in the structure of the SPWC,’’ she noted.
“It is therefore expected that SPWC leaders attending this leadership orientation programme, will go out from here to serve their subjects and by extension, their communities, with pride and honour, having now been additionally skilled.’’
Kahungu made it clear that it should be noted Swapo, as a mass-based party, should strive to break new horizons in pursuit of societal relevance and meaningfulness.
“Let us approach this programme, knowing well that Dr Sam Shafiishuna Nujoma has forewarned that: ‘a people united striving to achieve a common good for all members of the society shall always emerge victorious’.”