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    Namibia wins AU gender parity gong

    APA-Windhoek (Namibia)

    Namibia has been awarded the 2017 African Gender Award in recognition for the country’s effort to promote gender equality.

    The national broadcaster, NBC reported on Saturday that President Hage Geingob accepted the award from the Gender Is My Agenda Campaign (GIMAC) steering committee for putting in place legal and policy frameworks aimed to promote women’s rights.

    GIMAC which consists of national and international organisations, seeks to create a space for civil society to monitor the implementation of the African Union’s Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality.

    The southern African country beat other African nations to the award including Ivory Coast.

    Since 2014, Namibia has seen an increase in the number of women in decision-making positions.

    This was after the ruling SWAPO Party in 2013 changed its constitution to incorporate the 50/50 gender representation policy in conformity with the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development.

    During the 2014 parliamentary elections, the governing party submitted candidates based on 50/50 gender representation.

    This deliberate move made Namibia one of the few countries in Africa with a big number of women parliamentarians.

    The current National Assembly comprises 104 members of which 48 are women.

    President Geingob said the country’s resolve to empower women is reflected in the recent elections of the top SWAPO leadership.

    Netumbo Nanditwah, the Namibian female Deputy Prime Minister, who doubles as International Affairs and Cooperation Minister was appointed SWAPO VP in November last year.

    She became the first female politician to serve in that position since SWAPO was formed in 1960.

    SWAPO Secretary General Sophia Shaningwa is also a woman.

    Namibia also has a female Prime Minister, Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, while six other Cabinet portfolios out of 22 are also headed by women.

    As the recipient of the African Gender Award, Namibia will be expected to share best practices with other countries and its head of state as the recipient is expected to become a champion on gender issues together with Rwandese President Paul Kagame, according to NBC.


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