By: Hertha Ekandjo
First Lady Monica Geingos has recently raised concerns regarding gender parity in Namibia in the areas of economic activities, especially in the private sector.
“Private sector often says that government doesn’t do well in XYZ. If there is an area where the government outperforms the private sector, it is in the representation of women in high level positions,” she said.
Geongos raised this issue during the launch of the Organisation of African First Ladies for Development (OAFLAD) “We Are Equal” campaign, in Windhoek on Wednesday.
The campaign is aimed at fostering equality and inclusion in Namibia, with a vision to create a society where every individual is respected and given equal opportunities and challenges social prejudices while promoting positive change.
She said Namibia needs to improve in economic activities by employing more women and making sure that there’s no pay discrimination between men and women, adding that there should be more women in the workforce.
Geingos highlighted that Namibia is at 44.3 % parity in political empowerment. “Looking at parliamentarians, this is an area where all political parties must be better in,” she expressed.
Moreover, the First Lady said Namibia needs to improve in the labour market, political empowerment, stating that come 2024 economic opportunities need to be better.
According to her, there are so many women graduating out of universities but statistics have indicated that they are not getting into the workforce and when they do they are not being promoted.
Meanwhile, Vice President, Nangolo Mbumba, said women and men equally possess the same inherent dignity, deserve the same rights and have the same potential to contribute to society regardless of their gender.
“Despite the fundamental issue of equality, the reality faced by many girls and women across Africa tells a different story and Namibia is no exception”
“According to the gender gap index, no country has achieved full gender parity yet. Women and girls experience inequality in health care, education, agriculture, economic opportunities, income, politics and many others, which have a negative bearing on our country’s socio-economic development,” he pointed out.
He further said, “We want to develop but we want to leave some people behind. That is not possible.”
Namibia recently ranked the most gender equal country in Africa and the eight most gender equal country in the world as of June 2023.
Geingos, being the president of OAFLAD, stated that the launch in Namibia will be the first while launches in partnering African countries will follow.
The campaign seeks to address various forms of discrimination, including gender inequality in economic empowerment, GBV, health and education in Namibia.
The campaign further aims to build a more inclusive Namibian society by raising awareness and promoting dialogue with community leaders, activists and implementing partnerships and advocating for policy changes.