No person may be discriminated against on the basis of sex. This is affirmed by Article 23 (3) of the Namibian Constitution that states, “It shall be permissible to have regard to the fact that women in Namibia have traditionally suffered special discrimination, and that they need to be encouraged and enabled to play a full, equal and effective role in the political, social and economic and cultural life of the nation.”
As of 2019, women heads of state accounted for 6,6 percent, women heads of government at 5,2 percent, women parliament speakers make 19, 7 percent and deputy speakers made 28,9 percent.
Namibia is among the countries that have significantly contributed to that increase in women parliamentarians in the world at number seven, coming second only to Rwanda in Africa.
With women representation accounting for over 46 percent in the National Assembly and 23 percent in the National Council, there is a reason for celebration. Even though this has come mainly due to a quota system adopted by the ruling party Swapo Party, it is worth celebrating.
Another refreshing development is the election of the first female president of a political party in Namibia since independence.
Going forward, more capable women should be encouraged, nurtured and empowered to enter both politics and other decision-making positions.
I do not see how this cannot be achieved, as estimates point to women surpassing their male counterparts in institutions of higher learning the world over.
While the political arena seems to be favouring women in the top positions, the corporate world has had its own fair share of the splendour.
Although moving at a slow pace, the Namibian corporate world has seen female chief executive officers appointed.
Although the female technocrat seems to be climbing the corporate ladder almost every day, female CEOs are reported to be more at risk of dismissal all around the world than their male counterparts.
And Namibian female CEOs are no strangers to this as can be attested by recent cases of sacking of Air Namibia and Namibia Wildlife Resorts CEOs. But what could be the problem?
Well, other scholars believe it’s the patriarchal tendencies of men trying to push their female counterparts further to the periphery and reduce them to menial roles such as secretarial jobs. They believe leadership positions should be reserved for men and men only.
However, the Women in the Workplace 2018 study report suggests companies need to take more decisive action and treat gender diversity like the business priority it is – this ranges from setting targets to holding leaders accountable for results.
The report states: “It requires closing gender gaps in hiring and promotions, especially early in the pipeline when women are most often overlooked. And it means taking bolder steps to create a respectful and inclusive culture so that women – and all employees – feel safe and supported at work.”
Meanwhile, on the other hand, the other group argues that this has nothing to do with men, but women themselves who pull each other down.
There has been an embraced syndrome known as PHD “Pull Her Down”.
Women turn to bring each other down, instead of supporting each other, as sisters, as women, as friends; they tear each other apart, they wouldn’t want to see another woman in a leadership position.
Women, ladies, and soul sisters, indeed an “equal world is an enabled world,”; we can celebrate International Women’s Day all we want, however, if we do not stand together, our efforts will go down the drain.
Let’s hold hands and move forward together with one mind as we contribute to our country’s political, economical and cultural spheres.
*The author Annette Iuze Mabuku manages a religious radio station
2020-03-06 08:40:15 | 4 months ago