• February 22nd, 2020

Namibia ahead of US in gender parity, admits diplomat

OMUTHIYA - US Ambassador to Namibia Lisa Johnson is impressed by Namibia’s formalisation of the 50/50 gender representation and a zebra system into its politics, saying such success does not come without hard work, dedication and sacrifice. 

She further said it was essential to empower women economically, politically and socially as it creates a sustainable and prosperous society. Out of 104 members of Namibia’s National Assembly, 48 are women, which translates into 46 percent female representation.

“Even with the record number of women brought into political office by the United States’ 2018 elections, women still represent only 24 percent of all members of the U.S congress,” said Johnson. 
“America needs to follow Namibia’s lead and increase women political representation,” the US ambassador said at the commemoration of International Women’s Day held in Omuthiya.

“I have been deeply impressed by the commitment Namibian women demonstrate to improving the future of their country and Africa as a whole.  I applaud the women who steward Namibia’s national resources through management of community conservancies, and marvel at energetic entrepreneurs and the new opportunities they create,” she added. 

In addition, she said, this year the United States launched the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity initiative which aims to address workforce development for economic empowerment, support for women entrepreneurs; legal and policy reform to address historical limitations on women’s potential. “This initiative seeks to empower women worldwide to fully participate in their local economies and aims to reach 50 million women by 2025. In so doing, we aspire to boost economics globally and to facilitate peace, security and stability for all. The United States undertook this initiative because women are equal and they deserve control of their equity,” stressed Johnson. 

She however, bemoaned the fact that, despite women making up half of the population in the U.S, they still lowly represented in top positions such as of law, medicine, academia, financial services and entertainment. 

Similarly, Nhlanhla Lupahla, a deputy director in the Ministry Higher Education, Training and Innovation said although women in Namibia make up more than half of the population, there is still a persistent gap in remuneration and leadership positions. 
“The percentage of Namibia women population is reported to be 51.37, with 44 percent of households being headed by females. Consequently from this data, empowering women would yield a double-edged dividend,” stated Lupahla.
Women’s upper hand is still realised at universities where 60 percent of graduates are female. 

“However, it is thought provoking that although the number of women graduates is higher than men today, women still earn less and hold fewer executive positions in any sectors,” lamented Lupahla.

Obrien Simasiku
2019-03-12 09:40:03 | 11 months ago

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