The Minister of Health and Social Services, has called for the continued promotion of women’s political freedom and the abolition of all forms of violence against women and girls.
Kalumbi Shangula said this yesterday at the opening of Second Joint High Level Continental Seminar on the right to health and social protection in Africa in Windhoek.
The health minister said African counties need to collaborate and push forward to put an end to all forms of harmful practices that undermine the commendable progress we have made on many fronts.
“We must hold hands and forge ahead in order to end all forms of harmful practices, that erode the commendable strides we have made so far on many aspects on this front. We must continue to promote and enact progressive laws, develop policies and action plans for reproductive health, economic empowerment, political emancipation of women and ending all forms of violence against women and girls,” said Shangula.
Similarly, Shangula advocated for the prioritization of mental health promotion.
In addition, the minister said the Namibian Constitution, entrenches and protects fundamental rights and freedoms which Namibia also consider as inalienable.
“For this reason, Namibia takes seriously the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, specifically the women’s right to political participation and decision-making equal to that of men.
Our laws such as the Affirmative Action Act is applied vigorously to ensure economic and social empowerment and equality.
“To safeguard and protect women and girls, Namibia enacted the Combating of Domestic Violence Act of 2003. This Act is now before Parliament for amendment in order to strengthen issues related to protection of persons experiencing domestic violence. The Child Care Protection
Act of 2015, and the Criminal Procedure Act of 1977 as amended also provide protection of human rights,” added Shangula.
Last week Swapo parliamentarian Paula Kooper also called on the Minister of Gender Equality, Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare to strengthen the institutional framework under the ministry to provide oversight over all forms of gender-based violence (GBV).
She said that it is important to develop a Combating of Gender Based Violence policy framework that includes all forms of violations based on gender, regardless of the relationship between the perpetrator and the victim.