Jan's Corner: Empowering women for the Namibian community in 2019
When we look at and take into consideration all aspects or critical areas that determine and enhance the advancement of African households, communities and societies at large, we will conclude it has affected women more than men and children.
In almost all cultures, relationships between women and men are imbalanced. As the Chinese saying goes: ’’Women may hold up half the sky but it is what they do on the ground that makes the key to economic and social development’’… what they do on the ground in society has for long been an undisputable fact. Numerically, women comprise 57 percent of the Namibian public service workforce and just over 51 percent of the continent’s total population. Women also play a crucial role in the agriculture industry, and the farming population of African women continues to increase as more men migrate to the urban areas – yet women continue to be marginalized and discriminated against when it comes to wages, credit facilities, promotions to managerial and top positions, amongst others.
Development that does not address distribution of wealth and gender balance in the economic labour force will always fail to address the real life situation of women. A nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) may rise, society may generate wealth, and the community may see a rise in income, yet women may experience little or no change to their lives.
In the name of development, we must at all levels ensure that women emerge as leaders and agents. We must focus on the concerns of women such as domestic violence, the education of the girl child, working conditions for women, rape, kindergarden facilities, maternal and child health programmes and female literacy – therefore Namibian women must be supported in order for them to play a stronger role, contribute to economic growth, improve child survival rates and the health of all members of the family, reduce fertility, slow population growth, manage and sustain the environment and the natural resource base and take their rightful place in making decisions that can bring an end to civil strife, leading to peace and development.
The millennium forum in 2000 already calls on governments … ’to develop gender-based methodologies to address the feminization of poverty and to recognize the leading role of women in eradicating poverty’’…
In a key section on Human Rights, the report looks at …’’promoting and protecting the rights of women and girls’’… The UN, governments and civil society are asked …’’to recognise and assure equal opportunity and full participation of women in all aspects of society, including leadership, the economy, and decision-making’’… Namibia has received the African gender award for tireless efforts to promote equality between the country’s men and women, which is a strong step in the right direction.
In conclusion, the popular song writer John Mayer sings a very interesting song, entitled …’’Waiting on the World to Change’’… Well, do we really think that we can afford to sit around waiting on the World to change? I don’t think so, we have to be the change we want to see in this Namibian House and we have to be the agents of change.
Let us in this new year of 2019 not keep on waiting for the world to change, let the challenge be for us to get up and walk the talk by fighting in favour of the inclusion of women in all aspects and spheres of the Namibian community.
• Reverend Jan. A. Scholtz is a holder of a diploma in youth work and development from the University of Zambia (UNZA). He writes in his private capacity.
New Era Reporter
2019-01-11 10:02:36 4 months ago