Oshana Regional Governor Clemens Kashuupulwa has called on regional leaders, including constituency councillors and government officials, to strengthen gender equality programmes in their constituencies.
Kashuupulwa said this at Oshakati during an ongoing consultative meeting organised by the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare.
The two-day workshop is being attended by officials from the Oshana, Oshikoto, Ohangwena and Omusati regions.
Among other objectives, the meeting will address concerns related to women’s empowerment at regional level, developing regional gender plans of action and identifying areas that need support at regional and constituency level.
The meeting will also see the introduction of new guidelines for income-generating activities (IGAs).
In a speech read by Kashuupulwa’s special advisor, Martin Mwinga, Kashuupulwa said challenges of gender equality and the promotion of women’s economic empowerment span across the mandates of stakeholders present at the meeting.
These challenges, according to Kashuupulwa, exist in spite of ongoing efforts by the ministry of gender equality to ensure that gender balance and equitable socio-economic development of both men and women are embraced through the implementation of the 2010-2020 National Gender Policy.
“As a result, the National Gender Policy and its plans of action require concerted efforts from all stakeholders through the regional gender permanent task force, as well as the main cluster, namely gender-based violence and human rights, health, HIV and AIDS, education and the girl-child, poverty, rural and economic development, governance, peace, security and disaster management, and finally media, research, information and communication,” Kashuupulwa noted.
He thus called on stakeholders attending the meeting to make meaningful contributions in identifying gender-specific issues affecting respective regions, especially related to concerns of gender-based violence.
The governor further urged regional representatives to convene meetings in their respective regions to address issues raised at regional level.
“As stakeholders, we’re urged to provide inputs into the draft income-generation activities operating guidelines, especially in the IGAs application process and procedures, as well as the roles and responsibility of the constituency and regional IGA committees,” said the governor.
The event, which is attended by, among others, councillors and government officials from the four northern regions started yesterday and is expected to end tomorrow.