Women empowerment lags behind

03 November 2020 | Local News

JEMIMA BEUKES



WINDHOEK

Former member of parliament and gender activist Rosa Namises says while she is pleasantly surprised by the emerging young female politicians, there is sense that they are not well prepared to push for the rights of women in the National Assembly.

This is despite Namibia’s efforts to bring about gender equity in parliament, where close to half of the members are women.

Namises, who has earned the name ‘Rosa Luxemburg of Namibia’ for her fierce advocacy for the rights of women, said more needs to be done to mentor women to empower themselves and others.

“Women are indeed emerging, but I haven’t seen them to be very vocal about issues that affect women. I believe they need a strong background in civil society and mobilisation, which would enable them to speak up and to be able to address the issues facing women,” Namises said.

Ending CSE

She also reacted to the fact Namibia deputy prime minister, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, has spoken out against abortion and sexuality education.

Nandi-Ndaitwah recently instructed, through a letter to the education ministry, that Namibia will end the comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) programme in schools.

“The ministry is aware of the controversy surrounding CSE around the world and its linkage to the universal promotion of abortion, the drive to legalise homosexuality and the sexualisation of children,” the deputy prime minister wrote.

Boys club

According to political commentator Henning Melber, Namibia remains a patriarchal society, adding that toxic masculinity is not limited to men, but also pervades the mindsets of women socialised in male chauvinist societies.

“Such perceptions by women in influential positions are no exception,” he said.

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