WINDHOEK – Government yesterday launched the National Action Plan (NAP) on Women, Peace and Security that aims at strengthening the integration of a gender perspective in peace and security actions and management, and guarantee women’s participation in peace work.
Through the adoption of its first NAP, government demonstrates its commitment to addressing key issues women face in the follow-up of violence as well as supporting women’s actions to promote peace.
NAP was developed by the Ministry of Defence with the help of the Ministry of Safety and Security, Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare and the Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation
Namibia is currently the chair of the Women, Peace and Security Global Focal Point Network, a position they took over from Germany.
At the launch, Deputy Prime Minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah said Namibia has demonstrated the political will to create gender equality, gender mainstreaming in the security sector and to prevent violence.
To date, Nandi-Ndaitwah who doubles as the minister of international relations said various policies and legislative frameworks have been enacted, such as the Defence Policy (2010), the Namibian Defence Force (NDF) Gender Mainstreaming Action Plan (2000 – 2005) and the National Gender Policy (2010-2020), among others.
“These frameworks and policies have translated into tangible gains for women in decision-making and in the security sector,” she said.
She said with present representation, Namibia is amongst the countries with the highest proportion of women in the defence force in the SADC region.
However, she said these gains are not enough, there is more work to be done, not just nationally, but continentally and globally.
“This was proven in a 2015 Global Study, which revealed that the implementation of the WPS Agenda is still lagging and many more countries still need to adopt NAPs and implement them,” she said.
She said the development of a NAP on WPS enables direct and sustained attention to mainstreaming gender into the peace and security sector, to track and collate gender-disaggregated data for women in the peace and security sector, and to monitor and evaluate the implementation of the WPS Agenda.
The process of developing the Namibian NAP, she said, was a holistic and comprehensive process. “A national task team was constituted, consultative meetings were held with key relevant institutions and nationwide consultations were undertaken before the drafting process began,” she said, adding that subsequently the NAP was validated by stakeholders from the key relevant institutions before being submitted to Cabinet for approval.
“It was necessary to have a comprehensive process because the NAP also needed to confront emerging issues, trends and threats to peace and security such as climate change, cyber security, radicalisation and trafficking in persons amongst others,” she added.
She said the NAP delineates nine priority areas, with the overall aim of strengthening women’s influence and meaningful participation in peace processes, including in peace negotiations and mediation, as well as in broader peace-building and state building.
Nandi-Ndaitwah says the effective implementation of, and accountability for the NAP requires a monitoring and evaluation plan, and a robust coordination mechanism.
“Government, through the relevant line ministries will ensure that these instruments are in place and that regular reporting is undertaken and documented to realise the objectives of this plan,” she said.
She said the WPS Agenda must make an impact not only in Namibia but the whole SADC region,
“We submitted the WPS Agenda to be a standing agenda item of the Sadc Organ of Defence and Security,” she said, adding that this will create a platform for Sadc nations to act in unison, and to share information on the subject matter.
In addition, she said the government is in the process of establishing an International Women’s Peace Center in Windhoek.
This center, she said will focus amongst others on research aspects of mediation and negotiations, as well as capacity-building and supporting women on issues related to gender-based violence.
“It will also be a place where peacekeepers can be given orientation before deployment,” she said and called on the international community and development partners to support the establishment and the work of the center once it becomes operational.
She said the plan is for the center to be opened in 2020.
2019-06-20 09:16:56 2 months ago