Clemans Miyanicwe Windhoek-The secretary-general of the United Democratic Front Women’s League (UDFWL), Dorcas Shikongo, says women still believe in the entrenched stereotype that men must lead them in political positions. “Our women still believe that men must take the lead due to customs but there are positions women can be in charge of,” Shikongo said during a telephonic interview from Braunfels. Shikongo urged women to challenge for positions in the national executive committee when the party holds its elections, as presently she is the only one serving in the executive by virtue of her being the leader of the women’s league. Men currently occupy eight of nine executive positions in the party. Shikongo called for the implementation of the 50/50 policy before next year’s elections to give equal opportunities to women in the party, however, such a move has to be endorsed by the central committee. Shikongo also said she would seek clarity on the issue of the zebra style from the UDF secretary general, Justus Gawaseb. Although UDF did not officially endorse it, the party supported the 50/50 policy for local and national elections during the 2009 elections; but in the 2014 elections, it was supported for local elections only. However, Shikongo has said the 2014 local elections zebra style lists were not properly constituted, as some lists had more women while others had more men. “There must be two lists – one for men and the other for women,” he stated. Shikongo told UDF women that it was time they challenged these leadership positions and put men on the spot on what they have achieved. “Life’s is moving on, we cannot allow men to tell us how we feel. It is time women tell their stories and successes,” Shikongo advised. She urged women to believe in themselves and stand as candidates, as they have potential. “UDF is empowering women but during the last elections women were unsure how to stand in huge numbers as candidates but we are ready to stand as candidates for next year’s elections,” said Shikongo. After the last local authority council elections, women occupy only eight out of 23 seats. Renate Aubes occupies one of the two seats at Henties Bay, at Arandis Cecilia //Hoabes and Rudolfine Geises occupy both seats, while at Usakos, Magdalena Gaugoros occupies one of two seats. Vicky Amamus occupies one of the two seats at Outjo and Cristabela Mbarondongo occupies one of the two seats at Kamanjab while Lina #Gaeses occupies one of the three seats of her party at Khorixas. #Gaeses is the only female to occupy a position in the management committee, as she is the vice chairperson of the management committee at Khorixas. #Gaeses and Mbarondongo are also among the few women in the 15-member central committee. Gawaseb said UDF is busy with zebra style or 50/50 policy and the central committee will discuss the matter on a date yet to be decided. Gawaseb echoed Shikongo’s sentiments that women still believe men must lead them and feels this must change. The UDF secretary general admitted that the party does not have an internal policy on the zebra style but plans to have such policy by the 2019 elections. However, he said that such a policy is the government policy. “It’s not a must that all political parties must have it but the government asked us to implement it and we will work towards it,” Gawaseb said. Gawaseb says he fully supports the zebra style and during 2013 elections his camp, which included the current UDF president Apuis !Auxab, supported #Gaeses for the position of vice president but she did not get enough votes and the position was won former Kunene governor Dudu Murorua. “We support the 50/50 policy, it’s a good thing as it brings in quality. If women out there want to stand as candidates they must do so,” Gawaseb stressed.
2018-02-27 10:11:28 6 months ago