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Namibia failing on gender equality

Namibia failing on gender equality

Zorena Jantze

GENDER is a primary marker of social and economic stratification, and according to the latest statistics, Namibia is slacking on equitable distribution of resources to women.

GENDER FOCUS: Ndapawa Alweendo, IPPR Research associate. Photo: contributed

Nearly 40% of the world’s girls and women – around 1.4 billion –  live in countries that are failing on gender equality, and Namibia is one such country, scoring a below average of 46% points on the Equal Measure 2030 global report released this month.

Structural sexism can be evident in major social institutions, such as the government and the economy, and the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) this week launched its briefing paper that puts a special focus on how government allocates financial resource in aid of gender E=equality reforms.

Speaking at the presentation, IPPR research associate, Ndapawa Alweendo, stated that there is limited mention of Gender Responsive Budgeting, with the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare receiving a meagre sum of just over N$202,000,00 for the gender equality and research directorate.

“Rhetoric does not match action. How can we improve gender relations in the country? Gender budget statements need to be implemented to see how the budget tackles issues on gender equality,” Alweendo stated.

The institution further stated that despite the high rate of gender-based violence, with 32% of women aged between 15 and 49 experiencing physical violence in the country, there is only one shelter in the country where abused women can seek refuge.

Responding for the ministry of gender equality, deputy director of gender mainstreaming, Rosina.Mubonenwa, admitted that efforts from the ministry on the subject has had very limited impact.

“We need to go further in allocating resources to issues, especially for gender-based violence. This issue, however, requires resources from multiple stakeholders. Gender Responsive budgeting does not mean creating a separate budget for women and men, but rather addressing teh real need of people, through a gender analysis,“ she explained.

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