WINDHOEK – Nudo member of parliament Meundju Jahanika has called on fellow MPs to amend the electoral law to compel all political parties to submit a zebra-style list to the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) for National Assembly and local authority elections.
He made the remarks in the National Assembly when contributing to the motion tabled by Swapo member of parliament Eunice Iipinge for 50/50 gender representation in the National Assembly and local authorities.
Iipinge recently tabled a motion on the implementation of Article 9 of the Maputo Protocol in the National Assembly.
Iipinge said the Maputo Protocol focuses on the rights of women in Africa and that it provides for specific rights of women, including girls, and obligates member states to eliminate all forms of discrimination and violence against women, while enhancing women’s participation in political and decision-making processes.
Iipinge highlighted that parliamentarians can amend the necessary legislation to ensure that all elections and political party lists reach the highest possible equality in representation between men and women, in line with the commitments in the Maputo Protocol.
She therefore proposed that the Electoral Act, 2014 and the Local Authorities Act, 1992 be amended to include a provision that all political parties implement the 50/50 gender policy.
She said this should be done in a zebra style, meaning if the person on the top of the list is a woman the next one should be a man, and vice versa.
Swapo Party amended its constitution to provide for 50/50 representation in all its structures with the intention to have a half-half representation and participation of women and men at all levels of the party that includes the party lists for national and local authority elections.
Iipinge said although Swapo Party is the only political party to have done so and has the majority women in parliament, the House can amend the necessary legislation to ensure that in all elections all political party lists are aimed at reaching the highest possible equality in representation between men and women, in line with the commitments Namibia made in the Maputo Protocol.
The Nudo MP Jahanika supported the motion proposing that the motion be referred to the relevant parliamentary standing committee for scrutiny and recommendations.
Namibia is a signatory to the Maputo Protocol, which was ratified in 2003.
Currently, Namibia ranks 1Ith globally in terms of the number of women in parliament, with 46 percent, as a result of the 50/50 gender representation policy employed by Swapo.
The country was also awarded an African Gender Award last year in recognition of the progress it has made in promoting gender equality and empowerment of women, especially promoting women’s representation in key decision-making positions.
2019-06-26 09:46:25 21 days ago