Source: The Southern Times
The launch was on International Women’s Day (March 8). The framework replaces the National Gender Policy of 1997.

President Pohamba said the new policy would contribute significantly in rolling back poverty, especially among women and girls.

In the 1997 National Gender Policy, the government said it was cognisant that it should be flexible to address the changing and evolving issues in the field effectively.

After an implementation and review period, the policy has been revised to cater for another decade.

President Pohamba said progress had been made towards gender equality in the economic, political, education and legal spheres.

For example, he said, the enrolment of girls in primary and secondary schools had increased significantly.

Thus, he noted, Namibia was on track to achieving the Millennium Development Goal on education by 2015. “These are achievements that we should all be proud of,” President Pohamba said.

The focus areas in the revised policy include poverty and rural development, education and training, health, GBV, trade and economic empowerment, environment, children’s rights and gender equality in the family context.

Implementation, the President noted, would be tied in with the country’s National Development Plans and Vision 2030.

“The policy … has its roots in our government’s need to correct the difficult socio-economic realities faced by Namibian women, and indeed in our collective desire to built a more just society, where all our citizens can enjoy their constitutional rights.

“This is because we strongly believe that in the face of these realities, we cannot talk of freedom and justice, while Namibian women, who comprise more than half of the population, continue to endure discriminatory practices, poverty and violence in their daily lives,” President Pohamba said.

Ahead of International Women’s Day, Gender Equality and Child Welfare Minister, Doreen Sioka, highlighted progress made by government in addressing GBV, discrimination and gender inequality.

Addressing Parliament this past week, Sioka said the government had enacted several laws and policies to root out all forms of GBV, gender oppression and inequality.

The laws include the Domestic Violence, Marriage, and Rape acts as well as the Amendment to the Communal Land Act. She said Namibia had ratified international treaties such as Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, the Convention on the Right of the Child and the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa.

“The signing of these international legal instruments is an important milestone for Namibia to promote and protect the rights of women.”

Despite the progress made, many challenges remain.

Women in Namibia are still highly exposed to HIV and AIDS, violence and inequality.

This year marks the 101st anniversary of International Women’s Day.

The day was first commemorated 1911 in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland, following its establishment at the Socialist International meeting the previous year. In 1975, during International Women’s Year, the United Nations began celebrating International Women’s Day on March 8.

Two years later, in December 1977, the General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming a UN Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace to be observed on any day of the year by member states, in accordance with their historical and national traditions.

The growing international women’s movement, which has been strengthened by four global UN women’s conferences, has helped make the day a rallying point to build support for women’s rights and participation in political and economic arenas.


Windhoek - Namibia’s President Hifikepunye Pohamba has launched the Revised National Gender Policy (2010 to 2020), which – among other things – seeks to address historical injustices caused by gender imbalances in society.

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