N$17,5 million EU-funded project to strengthen the roles of Civil Society Organisations and women in democracy
A project to strengthen the roles of Civil Society Organizations (CSO) and women in democracy project in Namibia funded by the European Union (EU) has commenced, according to the donor organisation.
The Ambassador of the EU Sinikka Antila, this week handed over a cheque to the resident representative of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung.
The 30-month project budget is N$17,5 million (EURO 891,706) and is jointly funded by both the European Union and the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung on a 50-50 basis.
Antila said the project will be implemented by the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung supported by its partner, Women’s Action for Development.
“The target regions are Kavango East, Kavango West, Ohangwena and Omusati where CSOs which focus primarily on gender, gender-based violence and women’s right will participate,” she added.
According to Antila, the project seeks to address two issues mainly; to narrow the gap between the favorable gender policy and legal environment established by Namibia since Independence in 1990 and the lack of genuine societal change required to implement and benefit from it.
Furthermore the project is aimed at assisting CSOs which lack organizational, financial and technical capacity, hindering them in rendering support in enabling women to feel safe, heard and empowered agents of change and development.
Although Namibia’s attention to gender equitable policies, plans and laws show good intent, in-depth understanding of the benefits of women empowerment and greater gender equity lags far behind, especially at community level. In many cases women themselves further entrench the patriarchy through their espousal of traditional gender norms, meaning that even women in decision-making roles at a national level cannot always be relied upon to promote gender equality.
“The final beneficiaries are at least 4000 constituents of participating CSOs. Via the participating CSOs, they will know how to access protection, social grants, finance, justice and other means to empower and capacitate them,” she added.
Meanwhile, Antila said the funding is in line with the EU and Namibia’s commitment to improve the participation of CSOs in governance and development.