WINDHOEK – The Deputy Minister of Disability Affairs Alexia Manombe-Ncube has said if Namibia is serious about addressing issues of equality, the country should drastically boost the number of women with disabilities in leadership roles, particularly in the political and public spheres.
Manombe-Ncube said this when participating in the debate on equal representation of men and women in the electoral process in the National Assembly last week.
She told lawmakers that women with disabilities are the best advocates and change agents, not only for other women and not only for others with disabilities, but for wider political, economic and social transformation. “An estimated one in five women are having disabilities, and yet, those women are often invisible and they face multiple barriers to inclusion,” said the disability affairs deputy minister.
“It is high time that we focus on gender-disability leadership issues,” she added.
She said women with disabilities are missing from the statistics and where data does exist in many cases, the picture is grim.
“For example where data is taken, it shows people with disabilities without disaggregating, as this group which is not homogenous … have different needs and aspirations,” she added.
Manombe-Ncube said women and girls with disabilities are diverse because of their physical, sensory, intellectual, psychosocial conditions but still often suffer double discrimination: as women and person with disabilities.
She said Namibia needs to deliver in the 2030 Agenda and must also deliver on its promise to leave no one behind.
“This is why I find this motion important. We must use the opportunity provided by the protocol to put us on track to a disability-inclusive, gender-equal and brighter future for us all,” she said.
Furthermore, Manombe-Ncube says she does not see specific efforts being made to encourage women to participate in the upcoming elections scheduled for November.
“The participation of all women must be encouraged,” she stressed.
She said leadership, gender awareness training and mentoring of women by female role models in politics can take the country way further than where it is right now.
“Political agendas can be developed by women taking part in politics through a range of activities such as discussion, debate, lobbying and activism in formal and informal ways,” says Manombe-Ncube.
She said women must be encouraged to be actively involved in non-state contexts such as trade unions, political parties, interest groups, professional associations, business and the private sector.
2019-07-04 10:08:44 19 days ago