Statement by the Mr. Musinga Bandora, UN Resident Coordinator at the launch of the national Gender Permanent Task Force

06 Nov 2013

Honourable Doreen Sioka, Minister of Gender Equality and Child Welfare

Honourable Angelika Muharukua, Deputy Minister of Gender Equality and Child Welfare

Senior Government Officials

Members of the Diplomatic Corps

Colleagues from the United Nations family in Namibia

Ladies and Gentlemen,

On behalf of the United Nations in Namibia, I would like to begin by thanking the Honourable Minister of Gender Equality and Child Welfare, for inviting us to the official launch of the National Gender Permanent Task Force.

It is indeed a great pleasure and honor to be present here with you today at this notable occasion which is a crucial step in ensuring the implementation of the policy objectives as outlined in the Revised National Gender Policy, launched by H. E. the President of the Republic of Namibia Dr Hifikepunye Pohamba on the 8th of March 2012.

At this juncture, I would also like to commend the Ministry for having extended an invitation to members of different constituencies such as private, public, academic institutions, development co-operation partners, NGO’s, faith-based organizations and media  to be part of the Taskforce. Indeed the issue of gender has no boundaries and thus becomes a business of all citizens.

As we are gathering here today to mark the achievement of yet another milestone of the Government of Namibia to ensure gender equality and equity, we want to highlight the  important  role  which  this  Taskforce  will  play.  As  outlined  in  the  Policy,  this committee will have the very important function of overseeing the implementation and monitoring of the objectives set in the Policy, and this indeed calls for entities to be committed and actively participate in all relevant processes.

I  am  also  informed  that  after  the  launch,  the  Taskforce  will  be  equipped  with knowledge and skills on gender mainstreaming tools. Capacity development is a critical element that will enable the Taskforce to champion gender mainstreaming efforts. I am also inclined to think that these efforts are timely and will enhance the participation of the Taskforce in NDP4 Sector Planning.

The National Gender Policy is particularly important in the context of gender, HIV, sexual and reproductive health and rights and reinforces policy and programmes to achieve gender equality as well as promote women empowerment. In Namibia as elsewhere, girls and women are most vulnerable to HIV infection- driven by the combination  of  socio-cultural  values,  practices,  discriminatory  laws  and  structural gender inequalities which limit women’s access to services and to decision-making structures.

We  note  gladly  that  the  gender     policy  provides  guidelines  for  planning  and programming with   focus on attaining gender equality and women empowerment as well as equal  inclusion of men and women  in decision making processes. The policy defines  mechanisms  to  effectively  coordinate  gender  equality  programmes  and addresses  poverty  reduction  through  improved  access  for  women  to  productive resources such as land, credit and employment.   It aligns policies, programmes and action with national, regional and international legal instruments adopted by Namibia.

Distinguished guests,

On behalf of the United Nations in Namibia, I would like to re-affirm our commitment to render support to the implementation of the policy. Moreover, we also pledge our full support to the UN Gender Focal Points members who have been nominated to serve on the Taskforce.

This is a milestone for the country and I wish to commend the Ministry and Government at large for the efforts made in putting the National Gender Permanent Task Force together.

I thank you all for your attention.