WINDHOEK – Windhoek on Wednesday was the city that unveiled the SADC Gender Protocol Alliance Sexual and Reproduction Health and Rights (SRHR) mapping, policy, campaign and the SADC barometer of SRHR.
The two-day meeting is reviewing SRHR policies including teenage pregnancies, maternal health, comprehensive sexual education, GBV, HIV and Aids and Sexual diversity in all SADC countries, an assessment of the existing SRHR policies guideline or other provision to identify gaps and limitations. The meeting will identify key campaign and develop an advocacy and communication plan but also creating safe space for networking and shared learning.
Speaking during the launch of the meeting is the Member of Parliament Elma Jane Dienda who said that there are high levels of violence in the work place but it is clear that this is where some men and women experience violence and cannot realise their SRHR due to legislative limitations or bad delivery.
She said the key driver in this campaign is to ensure that SRHR is on the agenda 365 days a year.
“The challenge is to ensure that the plans remain high on the agenda and are reviewed regularly to respond to changes in the contexts in countries and local councils,” she explained.
Dienda said the 2018 campaign takes place against the background of the #Me too global campaign and I wear what I like. She said gender-based violence is part of a much broader campaign for voice and choice, in line with sustainable development goal five of gender equality.
The parliamentarian said the she decides movement has drawn renewed focus to the imperative of enabling women and particularly young woman to have control over their own sexual and reproductive health and wellbeing.
The movement is galvanising support across the globe to stand up, speak out and change the rules and unlock resources.
She urged the workshop to look at how Namibia can realise peoples SRHR across the country.
“We must focus on ending GBV as a top political priority. Gender equality is a cornerstone of our constitution. Gender violence is the single most telling indicator of gender inequality,” she explained.
Dienda further explained the campaign must make sure that RSHR requires that people address societal issues of patriarchy, economic relations and changing the way of thinking about gender relations.
Patriarchy means men feel entitled to exert economic and other forms of power over women.