Speaker of the National Assembly Peter Katjavivi has reiterated the need for parliaments to transform the SADC region by enacting progressive legislation. He notes that such legislation would help propel industrialisation and other evolving technologies in the region, which includes alternative energy technologies such as hydropower, solar, wind and biomass, among others.
Katjavivi said this on Tuesday while addressing participants during a virtual workshop of SADC parliamentarians on mainstreaming gender in the renewable energy sector.
The speaker further hailed the SADC protocol on gender and development he said has promoted gender parity and catapulted some women into decision making positions. He, however, noted that challenges remain.
“Challenges still remain as noted by the low numbers of women in decision-making positions and those participating in the economic sector. In Namibia for example, representation of women in parliament is commendable at 44% in the National Assembly, although it still falls short of the 50:50 target,” said Katjavivi.
Katjavivi implored lawmakers to play their part in changing the status quo. “It is our role as parliamentarians to ensure that we push for the enabling legislature to facilitate gender-equal representation, participation and mainstreaming in all areas, including renewable energy so that both women and men reap the benefits and livelihoods are improved.”
The virtual meeting is organised by the SADC Parliamentary Forum in collaboration with the Southern African Research and Documentation Centre (SARDC). Katjavivi also chairs the SARDC Board, an independent research and knowledge resource centre established to strengthen regional policy perspectives and provide tools for tracking implementation of regional targets in southern Africa and the African continent in general.
Other participants in the meeting included the speaker of the Zimbabwean parliament, Hon. Advocate Jacob Mudenda; secretary general of the SADC PF Boemo Sekgoma; SADC members of parliament and chairpersons of regional standing committees responsible for gender, women advancement and youth development.