Gender equality vital for human rights

Martin Endjala

National Assembly Speaker, Peter Katjavivi told the 145th Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly in Kigali, Rwanda that gender equality is fundamentally linked to sustainable development which is vital to the realisation of human rights for all.

The assembly was held from the 11th–15th October under the theme, “Gender equality and gender-sensitive parliaments as drivers of change for a more resilient and peaceful world”.

He said the realization of a society where women and men enjoy equal opportunities and equal rights in all spheres of life is cardinal.

He emphasized that gender inclusivity should be our collective pre-occupation as members of a robust organization, the IPU.

The question of gender equality in Parliaments, Katjavivi said, revolves around two key issues, which are gender representation and gender-based budgeting, adding that representation hinges on the number of female Parliamentarians’ versus their male counterparts.

On gender based budgeting, the Speaker stated, that it is significant for Parliaments to endorse budgets that are meant to protect and empower the girl child, to promote youth inclusion in the national debate and nation building and also emancipate women.

“Gender equality is a fundamental human right and advancement of it is critical in the development of any country and societal well – being,’’ the Speaker said.

Furthermore, he made reference to the African Gender Index (AGI) report which was launched in 2019 at the Fourth Global Gender Summit, in Kigali, which indicated that Namibia has achieved 79.67% gender equality.

The index measures parity between men and women across four specific dimensions, namely: economic, social, representation and empowerment.

He assured the Assembly that Namibia is continuously searching for new ways to ensure gender inclusivity and gender equality in all spheres of our society as well as the protection of women through sound legislation.

The assembly which is the world’s largest gathering of Parliamentarians was attended by more than

1000 delegates, including some Speakers and Deputy Speakers of Parliaments. It provided an opportunity to national Parliaments to come together to strengthen parliamentary efforts to drive change and address global issues.

Among some of these issues was the emergency resolution on the Ukraine titled “Condemnation of the invasion of Ukraine and of the subsequent annexation of territories’’.

In defense of the territorial integrity of all States the 145th IPU Assembly resolved in adopting a resolution on the Ukraine saga.The resolution also reaffirms support for the ongoing work of the IPU Task Force for the Peaceful

Resolution of the conflict in Ukraine, on the side-lines of the Assembly.

The IPU Task Force met high-level parliamentary delegations from both the Russian Federation and

Ukraine respectively. The parliamentary delegations from both sides indicated their willingness to engage in a meaningful dialogue.

The Namibian delegation was led by Peter Katjavivi which included Victoria Kauma, Vice Chairperson of the National Council, Swapo MP Lucia Witbooi, John Likando, Tangeni Iijambo, Sebastian Karupu and Josef Kauandenge.

The IPU members were encouraged to step up efforts to promote gender equality in institutions and society.

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