Vice president says GBV hinders women’s empowerment

Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah. Photo: MUN

Vice president Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah has called on all Namibians and trade unions to fight gender-based violence (GBV), which is one of the greatest hindrances in women empowerment.

“Gender-based violence remains a serious issue that reverses social progress and also has a major impact on women empowerment,” she says.

Nandi-Ndaitwah was speaking at the Mineworkers Union of Namibia’s Women’s Conference 2024 in Windhoek on Friday.

She highlighted that although more women are victims of GBV, it should not be forgotten that men are also victims.

She urged the women members of the MUN to not be discouraged, but to recognise their power in the sector.

“See yourself as the lucky ones to be in the positions you are,” the vice president said.

She said when members find themselves in leadership positions, it is important to remember they are there to serve people.

Nandi-Ndaitwah said the issues faced by women in the past are different to those they are faced with today, since laws and regulations have been put in place to give women more access to the same opportunities men have access to.

“There are laws and policies which were not there, and enacted by our parliament,” she said.

According to Nandi-Ndaitwah, research done by the University of Namibia has found that about 18% of mineworkers are women, while 82% are men.

She said these numbers can be attributed to the traditional belief that mining is a “heavy” industry.

“With the advancement of technology, we can all do what is required . . . I am happy to see so many women studying engineering to be fully equipped for the sector,” she said.

Nandi-Ndaitwah commended former president Hage Geingob’s efforts to empower women in all sectors.

“Because he believed, his legacy must live on,” she said.

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