UN praises Namibia on women soldiers

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Eveline de Klerk

Swakopmund-United Nations women’s representative Anna Githukwe Shongwe on Wednesday applauded Namibia for its concerted efforts towards the inclusion of female soldiers in global peace and security initiatives.

Shongwe said women currently have 23 percent representation in the Namibian Defence Force (NDF) and 38 percent within the Namibian police.

She was addressing a high-level delegation from Namibia and various African countries in Swakopmund during a consultative stakeholder conference on the development of a National Action Plan (NAP) for Namibia.

Once formalised, the NAP will be a guiding tool in the domestication of the United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 on Women in Peace and Security.

In addition, the NAP will provide a coherent framework for implementing the women in peace and security commitments that Namibia is party to, including the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development.

According to Shongwe, Namibia continues to play a critical role in peacekeeping on the continent and thus it is only fair that more women are included in such peacekeeping missions. “Only five women took part in peacekeeping missions during 2016 and this is one area that Namibia should look to include more women.

“We know that the nature of conflict is evolving and new threats to global peace and security continue to emerge, which threaten the peace and stability of states and regions.

“This calls for innovative solutions and an emphasis on preventative responses and women can be instrumental in this regard.”

Shongwe said the development of the NAP is a milestone for Namibia, as the country boldly tabled the issue of women in peace and security at the UN, which responded by passing Resolution 1325.

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