Her Excellency Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (center), Former President of Liberia with Members of Parliament of Namibia
|Story by Mutafela Sitali
Members of the Parliamentary Women Caucus and Parliamentary Committee on Gender Equality, Social Development and Family Affairs attended an engagement forum earlier today with H.E. Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former President of Liberia.
As Namibia welcomes the prestigious African Gender Forum Award which the country has been conferred for top performing country in Africa by the African Gender Forum within the context of Gender is my Agenda Campaign, in his welcoming remarks Hon. Prof. Katjavivi said that women in several countries have realized that as a minority in parliament, it is advantageous to form alliances and coalitions to affect change. “It is generally believed that the building of cross-party caucuses can help provide the peer support necessary to promote a gender equality legislative and policy agenda,” said Hon. Katjavivi.
The African Gender Forum is a gender platform for the women of Africa to forge their own strategic path regarding relevant actors and partners. This is why the African Gender award serves as a mechanism to monitor and reward an African Head of State or Government who has demonstrated outstanding achievement in promoting gender equality and development.
The Award is based on country performance measured by the scientifically developed Solemn Declaration Index. These are mainly initiated by the Gender is my Agenda Campaign, Gender is My Agenda Campaign with the leadership of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and African Union Commission.
With regards to the successful implementation of Agenda 2063, H.E. Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf emphasized to MPs that despite the challenges women face, this should not stop them from claiming leadership roles in society, “women are stronger than men and capable of achieving greater things,” said H.E. Madam Johnson Sirleaf while also urging women to focus on women empowerment, women involvement as well as women peace and security. “Gender is a greater obstacle and such forums are crucial to help a country and Africa at large develop innovative intervention strategies to fight gender inequality,” she stressed.
Addressing mostly Parliamentary Women Caucus and Parliamentary Committee on Gender Equality ,Social Development and Family Affairs , H.E. Madam Johnson Sirleaf congratulated Namibia for the prestigious Gender award “Agenda 2063, the roadmap of our continent reminds us to renew our commitments and ambitions for the promotion of the status of women and gender equality in Africa and especially to realize them because the prosperity of Africa is clearly conditioned on the opportunities that will be created for women and young people on our continent,” noted H.E. Johnson Sirleaf.
In the same vein, ideas and information were shared and expressed on gender related issues while most MPs and women Caucus members emphasized the need for deep analysis by decision makers on gender inequality as it is one of the major challenges in African countries.