As at January this year, over 300 000 orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) were benefiting from the country’s grant system, gender equality and child welfare minister Doreen Sioka said. The minister, who was addressing staff in Windhoek earlier this week, said 326 148 OVCs are currently benefitting from the system.
The OVCs are paid a montly grant of N$250. “That is considering the 434 000 children that turned 18 and thus were removed from the system. A furthter achievement is the support offered to residential child care facilities by subsidising 30 registered resident child care facilities that care for over 2 000 OVCs,” the minister stated. Sioka also announced that a total of 984 children in need of care have been adopted by different families. The minister is also concerned by the alarming rate of violence, especially against women and children, saying it required a safety net strategy. According to Sioka, the ministry conducted a survey nationwide on violence against children. “According to the study, 39,6% of female and 45.0% males reported to have experienced violence in their childhood,” she said. The ministry’s staff were also informed of the number of shelters for gender-based violence victims, which were under construction over the last five years.
“These shelters have been operationlised and they are located at Keetmanshoop, Windhoek, Opuwo, Outapi, Eenhana and Katima Mulilo. The repair and renovation to the shelters at Mariental and Khorixas will also be finalised during the current financial year for their immediate operationalisation.”
Meanwhile, Sioka also fondly of her ministry, which she said has evolved over various decades from a woman’s desk in 1999 to what it is now, said this was a confirmation that government is committed to ensuring gender equality, empowerment of women and the wellbeing of children. She said Namibia was also awarded best African country for progress made in mainstreaming gender equality into fight against corruption. According to Sioka, coordination mechanism for effective implementation of the National Gender Policy has been functional and significant achievement of women representation in the National Assembly from 6.4% in 1990 to 45. 2% in 2015 were recorded. She further stated the figure has been increased with 3.88% in 1992 to 23.3% in 2015 in the National Council whilst Local Authorities improved with 40% in 2010 to 48% in 2019.
2020-02-26 06:49:00 | 4 months ago