Spain contributes to gender equality and women´s empowerment at local level
The official opening the Namibia SADC Gender Protocol Summit on Monday 14 April has been hosted by the Hon. Angelika Muharukua, Deputy Minister of Gender Equality and Child Welfare, Former MP Ms Norah Schimming-Chase, together with the Head of the Spanish Cooperation of the Embassy of Spain, Mrs. Carmen Sendino. The summit was organised by Gender Links and the Southern Africa Gender Protocol Alliance, funded by the NEPAD/Spanish Fund for African women empowerment. The topic: “Cascading the Centres of Excellence for Gender Mainstreaming in Local Government”. It is funded by the Spanish Cooperation to the tune of approximately N$3.5 million through the NEPAD-Spanish Fund for African Women Empowerment.
This fund, in the second call for proposals in 2012, approved 31 projects in Sub-Saharan Africa to the amount of more than eight million Euro in its objective to empower women in the region and to boost development. Gender Links Namibia is a Windhoek based local NGO working towards gender equality and justice. This project has as its aim the increase in the current number of women in decision-making positions at local levels, such as in municipalities, councils, committee presidencies, etc., and achieving changes in the mentalities and attitudes of local governments on the role of women in decision making; increasing the number of female politicians and gender sensitive laws and budgets. The project’s expected results include: 1) Raising gender awareness and knowledge of gender-based violence, planning and support in 40 specific local councils in 6 regions of Namibia; 2) Sustainable approaches through peer training during the primary phase in the centres of excellence; and 3) Changes of attitude and a reduction in gender based violence. This national summit was preceded by three regional summits which took place in Mariental, Oshakati and Otjiwarongo. The organisation showcased good practices on 50/50 political representation, climate change, GBV and other topics. In her speech, the head of the Spanish Cooperation gave a brief background about the Spanish government’s priority given to gender equality and women´s empowerment, highlighting the importance of that summit in its role as a loudspeaker for the call to step up the pace in fulfilling the 28 targets on the SADC Protocol before the 2015 deadline.