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Urgent collective action needed to address structural inequalities among the population -UNFPA

Urgent collective action needed to address structural inequalities among the population -UNFPA

Urgent collective action is needed to address the structural inequalities that hold women back and create a more equitable society to achieve national targets and the Sustainable Development Goals, according to an official.

The United Nations Population Fund, (UNFPA) Representative ad interim, Gift Malunga highlighted this Tuesday on the occasion of the commemoration of World Population Day and the launch of State of World Population Report 2023.

“While women and girls make up 49.7% of the global population, in Namibia they make up 51% of the population yet the desires are not often prioritized,” she said.

According to Malunga, at the root of the problem is gender inequality, which sees 32% of Namibian women between the ages of 15 and 49 reported experiencing physical violence from an intimate partner at some point in their lives.

Furthermore, Malunga noted that 6 percent of women reported experiencing violence during pregnancy, while 15 % of women who have experienced violence have never sought help and disclosed the abuse to anyone.

“18.4% of children have experienced child marriage, while the maternal mortality rate is 215 per 100,000 and teenage pregnancy rate remains high at 19%,” she noted, adding that these staggering statistics underscore urgent action.

Despite that, Malunga said Namibia has made remarkable progress in addressing population issues and promoting the rights and choices of its people.

Speaking at the same event, Namibia’s governor of the Hardap Region, Salomon April said Namibia recognizes gender equality as a fundamental human right and an integral part of economic growth.

“The government has formulated plans, policies, and programs and these continue to be implemented to improve the lives of the Namibian people such as Vision 2030, National Development Plans, and Harambee Prosperity Plans to inspire unity in the face of diversity of the people of Namibia,” he said.

He added that the country also conducted a National Formative study on child marriage, which informed the development of a strategy to end child marriage and other harmful customary practices that promote violence and discrimination against women and girls.

World Population Day ran under the theme “Unleashing the power of gender equality: Uplifting the voices of women and girls to unlock our world’s infinite possibilities,” and the 2022 State of World Population Report ran under the title: 8 Billion Lives, Infinite Possibilities the case for rights and choices.


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