OMUNDAUNGILO – Gender equality and child welfare minister, Doreen Sioka has called on all Namibians to join hands in the promotion of gender equality and empowerment of all women and girls. Sioka said, 2020 is an unmissable opportunity to mobilize action to accomplish gender equality and human rights of all women and girls in the country.
She was speaking at the national commemoration of International Women’s Day, which took place on Friday, at Onehova Primary School of the Omundaungilo constituency, in Ohangwena region.
The day which is celebrated around the world, in recognition of women’s achievements with regards to social, economic, cultural and political affairs, regardless of their nationality or ethnicity was observed under the theme: “I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights”.
The theme focuses on ensuring that the next generation be as equal as possible, in order to realize women, men, boys’ and girls’ rights in Namibia.
Sioka urged the gathering to make this year a year of action set out to do away with the systematic barriers that hold women and girls back from equal participation in all spheres of life.
“Let us start sharing responsibilities in our homes. Let us encourage everyone in our lives to split all unpaid work 50/50 between men and women, girls and boys, so that they can both thrive, rest, work and feel empowered,” exhorted Sioka.
According to her, Namibia has realized significant achievement in terms of women in politics and decision making positions over the past three decades, notably the improvement of women representation in the National Assembly from 6.4% in 1990 to 45.2% in 2015.
She stressed that despite some remarkable achievements, the country is faced with various challenges that hinders the attainment of gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, such as an increase in cases of gender-based violence, which leads to high number of orphans and vulnerable children. She thus urged Namibians to join hands in fighting gender-based violence.
In a speech read on her behalf, the United Nations’ Resident Coordinator, Rachel Odede commended Namibia for making good progress towards gender parity in terms of representation of women in parliament. Namibia is ranked seventh in the world, with 46.2% of women in parliament.
“This representation shows that the country is committed to increase opportunities for women and girls to succeed, as well as to increase women’s participation in all social-economic spheres and, promote and nurture women leaders,” said Odede.
* Hilma Nakanduungile is an Information Officer in the ministry of information stationed at the Ohangwena regional office