Integrating gender and youth perspectives crucial for Namibia’s future – Masua

Hertta-Maria Amutenja

In a recent National Assembly session, Member of Parliament, Patience Masua emphasised the importance of integrating gender and youth perspectives into the budget process to ensure a more just, vibrant and sustainable future for all Namibians.

Masua made these remarks while addressing the government’s three-pronged approach to economic resurgence, as outlined in the budget debate this week.

“The principles of GYRB transform financial planning, ensuring that allocations consider the unique needs of women and young people. This means that we look at every line of our budget through a lens that considers the diverse needs of different genders, but most importantly, those of young people,” she said.

The budget reflects a gender and youth-responsive strategy, with allocations and expenditures designed to address the distinct needs and challenges of these demographics.

Masua highlighted the government’s commitment to prioritising the most economically vulnerable, empowering young people, and implementing tax breaks to stimulate the economy.

Key figures and implications of the budget include a doubling of the income tax threshold for individuals, a significant increase in social spending, and substantial allocations for capital spending, youth-focused initiatives, railway infrastructure development, and informal settlement upgrading.

These measures aim to stimulate domestic demand, bridge infrastructure gaps, create jobs, and improve living standards.

In addition, Masua highlighted specific initiatives such as the civil service wage adjustment, VAT registration threshold increase, internship tax incentive program, and housing access support, which benefit civil servants, SMEs, employers hiring interns, and young individuals seeking housing opportunities.

“This budget stands as a testament to our government’s profound commitment to fostering the well-being and future prospects of the Namibian youth. By strategically allocating funds, the budget addresses critical areas directly impacting young individuals, reflecting a genuine concern for their welfare,” said Masua.

The budget sets the stage for sustainable growth and prosperity, aligning with the government’s commitment to “leave no one behind.”

Moreover, she emphasised the importance of enhancing data collection and analysis, capacity building and awareness, and establishing clear monitoring and evaluation mechanisms to ensure the effective implementation of gender-responsive budgeting principles.

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