Namibia pledges relentless empowerment of women

Niël Terblanché

As Namibia joined the world to commemorate International Women’s Day, the country’s remarkable progress in gender equality and the empowerment of women, was celebrated for its journey of achievement and its inclination to address ongoing challenges.

President Nangolo Mbumba, in a touching statement, reiterated Namibia’s commitment to building an inclusive society where women are not only free from violence but where they will play an essential role in leadership and decision-making.

The theme for this year’s celebration, “Inspire Inclusion. Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress,” reflects the nation’s aspiration and commitment to gender parity.

President Mbumba reflected on the significant strides Namibia has made since independence, particularly in enhancing women’s representation in decision-making spheres.

From a modest seven percent female representation in Parliament at independence in 1990, Namibia has achieved a near-equal gender representation, with women constituting 49 percent of Parliament today.

According to the President, this remarkable transformation positions Namibia as the most gender-equal country in Africa and eighth globally, according to the Global Gender Gap Index 2023.

Despite these accomplishments, President Mbumba acknowledged the persistent scourge of gender-based violence (GBV) that disproportionately affects women and girls.
He expressed confidence in the impact of the Combating of Domestic Violence Act, aiming for a substantial reduction in GBV cases.

He said the Act embodies Namibia’s legal and moral stance against the violence undermining the dignity and potential of its women and girls.

The president’s message was clear: while celebrating the milestones, Namibia recognizes the journey ahead in closing the remaining gaps in gender equality.

The country’s leadership, reflected in the appointment of women to the roles of Vice-President and Prime Minister, signifies a tangible commitment to gender parity at the highest levels of government.

This leadership structure not only serves as a beacon of progress but also as a challenge to further the cause of women’s empowerment across all sectors of society.

The President said that International Women’s Day in Namibia is not only a celebration but a call to action.

He said the day serves as a constant reminder of the progress achieved and the work that remains in the pursuit of an inclusive society where women can lead lives of dignity, free from violence, and contribute fully to the nation’s development.

President Mbumba added that the commitment to gender equality in Namibia serves as a model, demonstrating the transformative power of inclusion and the crucial role of women in shaping a better future for all.

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