Gender equality workshop for women in regional council a need

Sharlien Tjambari

Wednesday marked the official opening of the three-day training workshop on Enhancing Gender Equality and Women Empowerment in Namibia: Capacity Building of Women in Women in Regional Councils.
The training aimed at analysing how intra-party democracy processes are gendered to promote women participation and representation in local councils; identifying how intra-party regulatory frame-works impede on women representation and participation in decision making organs of political par-ties at regional level; unpacking comparative regional and international experiences to enhance women active political participation and representation at local council level; and defining actionable recommendations that will inform strategies for intra-party regulatory reforms to promote women representation at local council level.
The Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare and the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) has col-laborated on several initiatives to enhance gender equality and women participation in Namibia, in-cluding partnership in conducting capacity building training sessions for women in politics at least once a year since 2017. The training sessions targets women parliamentarians, senior women political leaders, female mayors and young women in political parties.
Wilhencia Uiras the Executive Secretary for the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare said the workshop is organised to create a platform for collective reflection and consensus building by political party representatives and to foster the compliance with the national constitutional, regional and international commitments in the attainment of gender of equality.
In his statement delivered by Councillor Benitha Imbamba the constituency councillor of Arandis Constituency, the Chairperson of the Erongo Regional Council Hafeni Ndemula said: “This work-shop has come at the right time as Namibia is preparing to go to the polls for general and presidential elections later this year. And this should be seen as one of the major steps by the government through the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare, which has the mandate to ensure gender equality and equitable socio-economic development of women, men and the wellbeing of children in Namibia. This initiative will assist us as we prepare for any elections that may take place; to ensure that all political parties include women in their political party lists from the top and not just somewhere at the end of the list”.
In conclusion Ndemula mentioned that Namibia cannot continue to speak about gender equality and equal representation of men and women in politics and decision making without involving women. “We work together and walk the talk for us to go somewhere”. The workshop was attended by Local Authority Councillors and officials from the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance.
The leaders shared some statistics of women and men representation in regional councils and also overview and trends on women’s political participation and representation in Namibia. The workshop ends today (Friday) with key recommendations and way forward.

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