KAMANJAB – The National Unity Democratic Organisation (NUDO) Women’s League (NWL) is undecided on which slate to support for the upcoming congress according to Secretary General Nambekuii Upendura.
NWL has yet to organise a meeting scheduled for this month to decide which slate to support.
On Utjiua Muinjaingue’s standing as a presidential candidate, Upendura was mum on whether the NWL will support her. “We have not decided as NWL yet. I support her 100 per cent from my side but the NWL still has to decide,” said Upendura.
If Muinjangue wins Nudo’s presidential bid she will be the first woman in Namibia to head a political party.
Muinjangue told a weekly newspaper “I have built myself and have proved what I am capable of dealing not only with the issue of genocide but even in my career as a social worker.”
However, Upendura warned that women members of Nudo should not just support any female candidate just because she is a ‘woman’ but candidates must be scrutinised thoroughly to ensure they are capable. “Women cannot just support any female candidate as they have to show their capabilities.”
NWL Secretary General says she will only support a woman if she thinks or feels she is capable and whether she is an active party member. He advised that woman must vote for a man from a grass root level to a top positions if he is actively involved in Nudo rather than a woman who is nowhere to be seen.
At the moment, there are no female parliamentarians representing Nudo and none are constituency councillors. Out of the eleven local authority councillors, only three are women.
According to Upendura, she wants to see a female parliamentarian from Nudo after next year’s elections and NWL will work towards making it a reality. “We have women who are capable of being in Parliament, it is all about digging them out and bringing them forth,’’ she said.
The reason Nudo has less representation of women in top positions is due to the dominance and respect of men in the Herero culture as the party is dominated by the Herero ethnic group.
At their upcoming meeting, NWL will discuss early child marriage and school drop outs due to teenage pregnancies amongst other issues. On early child marriage, Upendura says that it is ‘serious issue’ as children young as 10-years are given husbands who take them away at the age of fifteen years.
“You cannot marry off someone at that tender age. As different political parties and traditional leaders we must unite and eradicate this in Africa,” she pleaded.
Upendura called for NWL to play the role of a mother after the upcoming congress and unite different factions within Nudo. “I know there will be divisions in the party. I know we have that motherhood inside us, so let us help Nudo grow as well as help the nation grow.” NWL also plans to visit rural areas frequently after the congress to encourage more women to vote in the next year’s elections.
Now, Upendura has two deputy secretary-generals, Aguste Gretchen Boois who handles information and publicity while Anna Ntonda handle record management and its national treasurer is Inaje Kaovere Mbaha.