Rt. Hon. Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila (Picture courtesy of New Era newspaper

The year 2015 is a significant year for women worldwide.  This year marks the 30th Anniversary of the Third World Conference on Women held in Nairobi, Kenya, 20th Anniversary of the Fifth World Conference on Women held in Beijing, China (Beijing   plus 20), Fifteenth Anniversary of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, which was adopted by the Security Council on 31st October 2000, during Namibia’s Presidency of the Security Council when it was serving as a non-permanent member.

The theme of the African Union Summit for this year “2015 Year of Women Empowerment and Development Towards Agenda 2063” is very fitting.

At national level, gender equality and non-discrimination is enshrined in the Namibian Constitution, National Development Plans and our Vision 2030.   Although there are still challenges, remarkable developments were recorded in reducing gender gaps in the area of poverty and rural development, reinforced by the implementation of various intervention measures including the National Gender Policy (2010-2020), which requires all sectors to implement gender responsive programs and provide necessary resources to ensure gender equality and women’s empowerment.

Namibia witnessed for the first time since independence a significant increase in women’s political participation and representation cementing the Government’s commitment to gender equality.  Therefore, the Namibian nation, women in particular, have a reason to celebrate a successful journey that took almost 25 years to ensure over 40% women representation in the National Assembly thanks to SWAPO, the ruling Party’s bold decision to amend its Constitution that brought about 50/50 women and men representation in all Party structures.

For the first time in Namibia’s history, a female Prime Minister, Ms. Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, has been appointed.   She is the fourth Prime Minister of Namibia since 21 March 2015.  Ms. Kuugongelwa-Amadhila has been a member of the National Assembly of Namibia since 1995 and served as Minister of Finance from 2003 to 2015.  Prior to that, she also had the portfolio of Director-General of the National Planning Commission.

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