Namibia: Country Gender Profile
Japan International Cooperation Agency Public Policy Department
Table of Contents
Namibia Summary List of Abbreviations 1.
Basic profiles.................................................................................................................................. 1 1-1
Socio-Economic Profile ........................................................................................................... 1
Health Profile ........................................................................................................................... 2
Education Profile...................................................................................................................... 3
General Situation of Women and Government Policy on Gender.................................................. 4 2-1
General Situation of Women in Namibia ................................................................................. 4
Government Policy on Gender................................................................................................. 8
National Machinery................................................................................................................ 12
Current Situation of Women by Sector......................................................................................... 14 3-1
Education ............................................................................................................................... 14
Health ..................................................................................................................................... 16
Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries........................................................................................ 19
Economic Activities ............................................................................................................... 22
Gender issues which should be particularly taken into consideration in future JICA and other donors/NGOs’ intervention in the country.................................................................................... 24
On-going Gender Projects ............................................................................................................ 25
Gender Information Sources ........................................................................................................ 27
List of Organizations related to Gender ................................................................................. 27
List of reports and references related Gender ........................................................................ 29
Summary of Country Gender Profile in Namibia（2009） Current Situation of Women in Namibia The government of Namibia has made various efforts in terms of strengthening women’s rights, first of all by according gender equality the status of a constitutionally guaranteed fundamental right and by subsequently passing progressive gender-based laws in order to ensure the empowerment of women, men and children, and the equality between men and women as prerequisites for full participation in political, legal, social, cultural and economic development. Government Policy on Gender The Namibia’s national policy and development plan are as follows: Mandate Ensure gender equality and equitable socio-economic development of women, men and children. Vision Statement To ensure that Namibia becomes "a society of equal opportunities for all". Mission Statement To create and ensure an enabling environment in which gender equality and the well-being of children can be realized. National Machinery The national machinery of gender mainstreaming is Ministry of Gender Equality And Child Welfare, Directorate of Gender Equality. The Directorate of Gender Equality has two divisions, namely Gender Mainstreaming and Research, Legal and International Affairs and its mandate is to promote gender equality by empowering both women and men through dissemination of information, coordination and networking with all stakeholders; and mainstreaming of gender at all levels; and to influence the law making process to bring about law and policy reform that are gender responsive. Situation of Women/Gender in Education The Namibian government is aiming at eliminating gender disparity in primary and secondary education preferably by 2005, and in all levels of education n no later than 2015. The disparity between males and females in educational qualifications is still large. 20% of Black females and 13% of Black males do not have any formal schooling, whereas only less than 1% of White females and males do not have any formal schooling. The enrolment of female student tends to increase and the literacy rate of women has been improving Situation of Women/Gender in Health Namibia gained its independence in 1990, and since then has made remarkable gains in social and economic conditions. While more than 75 percent of Namibian women deliver babies with the assistance of skilled birth attendants, life expectancy for women and men alike actually has fallen as a direct result of HIV. An estimated 20% of the country’s 2.1 million people are living with HIV. Situation of Women./Gender in Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries Women account for 59% of all those engaged in skilled and subsistence agricultural work. According to the 1991 census. This work employs over 70% of rural women classified as employed.
Focal points are needed in the Ministry of Agriculture to improve the status of women in agriculture. Situation of Women/Gender in Economic Activities The national policy on gender and employment is to promote equal economic rights between men and women as well as the economic independence of women. However the proportion of unemployed females is higher than that of their male counterparts.
List of Abbreviations (Namibia) AIDS
Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome
Beijing Platform for Action
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination
Civil Society Organizations
Department of Women Affairs
Gender Based Violence
Gender Focal Point
Human Immune Deficiency Virus
Information, Education and Communication
Legal Assistance Centre
Ministry of Agriculture Water and Rural Development
Ministry of Basic Education, Sports and Culture
Millennium Declaration/ Development Goals
Ministry of Higher Education, Training and Employment Creation
Ministry of Health and Social Services
Ministry of Lands, Rehabilitation and Resettlement
Multimedia Campaign on Violence against Women and Children
Ministry of Justice
Ministry of Women Affairs and Child Welfare
National Gender Mainstreaming Program
National Gender Mainstreaming Task Force
Non Governmental Organizations
National Gender Policy
National Gender Plan of Action
Parliamentary Women’s Caucus
Southern African Development Community
United Nations Economic Commission for Africa
United Nations Populations Fund
1-1 Socio-Economic Profile Socio-economic profile Social indicators International development Human development index* Gender-related development Gender empowerment indicators index* measurement (Value)* N/A N/A N/A Demographic indicators Total % of urban population Population Total fertility (millions) growth rate rate (%) % of female Total % of female (%) population population 2007 1,830,330 52.3 33.0 N/A 2.6 3.5 1991 1,409,920 N/A 28.0 N/A 3.1 N/A Life expectancy Households number by head of households (HH) Male Female Total Male-headed Female -headed 371,678 2007 48 50 59.5 40.5 (2007) 1991 59 63 N/A N/A N/A Economic indicators GNP/Capita Growth rate of GDP implicit Gini index* Aid/GNP real GDP deflator* 1995 N/A 4.5 N/A N/A N/A 2007 N/A 5.2 N/A 6.6 N/A Health Education Social welfare Defence Gender Others Public sector expenditure by sectors Unit (000) (000) (000) (000) (000) N$ N/A N/A N/A N/A % 4.7 21.3 N/A N/A /GDP /GDP /GDP /GDP Industry /GDP Agriculture Industry Service Others % % % % % 2007 21.9 20.9 51.0 6.2 Labour indicators Total No. Unemployment no and rate Minimum wage Male Female Male Female Male Female 2001 5313,139 281,710 84,007 101,251 N/A N/A No. % 73.2 64.1 26.8 35.9 Employment rate (YEAR) Agriculture Non-agriculture Industry Commercial Services Not stated Total (2001) 102,439 50,474 17,788 233,842 5,048 % of female population 20.7 5.1 3.5 69.4 1.3 Approaches to gender issues Ratification and signature of international laws Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action Convention of Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) SADC (Southern African Development Committee) Declaration on Women’ Rights Women in decision-making (% of female population) Government Private sector In parliament 28 Directors & Managers Ministers 5 % Deputy ministers 5 Policy of gender National Policy for Women’s Empowerment and Gender Equality of Namibia Laws of gender Married Person’s Equality Act (Act No. 6 of 1996)
4) 2) 3)
Year 1995 1996 1997
Year N/A Year 1996
The Communal Land Act (Act No. 5 of 2002) Public organization of gender Name of the national machinery Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare Note: Refer to the definitions for the words attached with *
1-2 Health Profile Prevalence of health services Infant mortality rate 2006 Under-five mortality rate 2008 Prevalence and death rates associated with 2004 tuberculosis Prevalence and death rates associated with 2004 infectious diseases ％ of vaccinated (1 year old) Reproductive health Male Female 2006 Nutrition 2006 Community health service 2006 % HIV/AIDS
No. of Hospital beds per 1,000 persons N/A Total 45/1000 Total 61/1000 Total
Health Indicators No. of physicians per 1,000 persons N/A
BCG DPT 88 90 Contraceptive prevalence rate
Polio Measles 74 63 Rate of births attended by trained personnel
Amnesia prevalence among pregnant women 69 N/A 48 79 N/A Maternal mortality ratio Total fertility rate Average age of first marriage 0.52 3.6 N/A Children under weight for Oral re-hydration therapy use Iodine deficiency age (& aged under 5) rate 14 19 37 Access to safe water Access to adequate sanitation Total Urban Rural Total Urban Rural N/A N/A 87 98 81 25 50 13 HIV prevalence, aged 15-49yo % of population aged with comprehensive Total Male Female knowledge of HIV/AIDS Pregnant Male Female women N/A N/A N/A N/A 21.3 N/A N/A N/A 98.8 99.1
1-3 Education Profile Education systems Adult literacy rate （ Over 15yo） Primary education Net enrolment no 2006 and rate % Progression rate 2006 % Drop-out rate 2006 % Secondary education Net enrolment no 2006 and rate % Progression rate 2006 % Drop-out rate 2006 % Tertiary education Net enrolment no 2006 and rate % Progression rate 2006 % Drop-out rate 2006 % Tertiary level enrolment by field of study by gender
Education Indicators 1,043 Secondary 85 Male
50,638 100 76.8
N/A 50.8 74.7
N/A 49.2 78.9
152,638 100 95.8
2,707 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A Arts
Total Total Education
Male Male Social science
6.5 N/A 51.3
Female N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A Engineering and Technology N/A
N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A Business & Management
Female Female Medicine
Reference: 1) Statistics of UNICEF, 2008 (Web site) 2) Demographic and Health Survey, 2006-2007 3) National Accounts, 2000-2007 4) Namibia Household Income and Expenditure Survey, 2006 5) IMF Statistics, 2008 (Web site) 6) 2001 Population and Housing Census, 2003 7) Namibia National Progress Report on the Implementation of the Beijing Platform For Action(Beijing +10)(Web site) 8) Ministerial Annual Report 2006, Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare 9) Statistics on Men and Women in Management Positions in the Private Sector of Namibia, 2006 10) Namibia Country Health System Fact Sheet 2006, WHO (Web site) 11) Education Statistics, 2006
Ref. 11) 2)
General Situation of Women and Government Policy on Gender
2-1 General Situation of Women in Namibia General Situation of Women in Namibia 1)
Although Namibia had made significant progress since its last periodic review, challenges to achieving full gender equality, there are much more would be done. The challenge was to maximize the advantage of the current momentum to keep women’s issues “on the front burner”.
The National Statistics on cases reported to the Police countrywide from various Police Stations in the different regions compiled by the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare (MGECW).
The underlined data shows that considerable progress has been made in Namibia to include women in the management cadre.
The government of Namibia has made various efforts in terms of strengthening women’s rights, first of all by according gender equality the status of a constitutionally guaranteed fundamental right and by subsequently passing progressive gender-based laws in order to ensure the empowerment of women, men and children, and the equality between men and women as prerequisites for full participation in political, legal, social, cultural and economic development.
[General situation] Although Namibia had made significant progress since its last periodic review, challenges to achieving full gender equality, there are much more would be done. The challenge was to maximize the advantage of the current momentum to keep women’s issues “on the front burner”. The Government of Namibia would, therefore, continue to adopt measures and initiatives that would progressively propel the country towards empowerment of women and gender equality. Namibia has some 12 ethnic groups, and after the country achieved independence after years of colonial rule and apartheid in 1990, traditional royal houses and counsels acquired renewed authority, with recognized power to run their own office in their traditional areas. Under the country’s Constitution, “both the customary and common law in Namibia in force on the date of Independence shall remain valid to the extent to which such customary or common law does not conflict with the Constitution or any other statutory law.” [Sexual harassment and violence against women and men1] The National Statistics on cases reported to the Police countrywide from various Police Stations in the different regions compiled by the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare (MGECW).
Gender Based Violence Reported Cases on Rape, Attempted rape, assault with intent to do grievously bodily harm of murder with fire arm, other weapons or by any other
Table Monthly Reported cases of rape per region (Average), 2002-2005 (From lowest to highest region) Regions
Source: NAMPOL Crime Prevention Unit, 2002 - 2005.
As for the majority of the victims of assault are male adults followed by female. December records the highest number of reported cases of 760 against male and 380 of the reported cases are against women. The data shows that on average monthly reported cases on assault by female adults are about half of that reported by their male counterparts. Juveniles, both male and female, account for less than fifty reported cases monthly. Annually, a total of 131 cases of assault are reported by female juveniles and 241 cases against male juveniles. Generally, it can be deduced from this data that when making a gender analysis, it is clear that most victims of assault are male, both adult and juveniles. However more cases of assault are reported by adults (both male and female) than juveniles (both male and female)2. [Improvement of the low representation in key decision making positions in the government] The underlined data shows that considerable progress has been made in Namibia to include women in the management cadre. Namibia succeeded in achieving 33% women in the Public Service management cadre, thereby reaching the 30% target by 2005, with 48% Offices, Ministries and Agencies having more than 30% women in their management cadre. Hence it’s important to note that the current situation represents a marked improvement in the public service. However, despite this progress, it is regrettable to note that although women are almost on a par with males in the overall
Gender Based Violence Reported Cases on Rape, Attempted rape, assault with intent to do grievously bodily harm of murder with fire arm, other weapons or by any other
public service (49%) positions, they are mostly located at the bottom of the ladder, as they make up the majority of the non-managerial positions. Therefore, more efforts need to be done to include women in managerial positions. The underlined data shows that considerable progress has been made in Namibia in term of the participation of women in decision making. Table Management Cadre in the Public Sector Political Position by Gender in February 2009 in Namibia3 Category
% of women
Secretary to Cabinet
[Issues originated in religions and traditional customs] Since independence in 1990, the government of Namibia has made various efforts in terms of strengthening women’s rights, first of all by according gender equality the status of a constitutionally guaranteed fundamental right and by subsequently passing progressive gender-based laws in order to ensure the empowerment of women, men and children, and the equality between men and women as prerequisites for full participation in political, legal, social, cultural and economic development. Yet, women living in traditional settings in particular – and indeed, the vast majority of women in Namibia live in such settings – continue to face serious challenges in achieving equal treatment compared with their male counterparts. Besides the principle of non-discrimination, further principles within the framework of the Namibian Constitution are the fundamental right to enjoy, practise, maintain and promote any culture, tradition or religion, as well as the recognition of Namibian customary law, which can be regarded as an indispensable tribute to Namibian indigenous peoples. Beyond doubt, however, in some instances, traditional, cultural, and religious practices and beliefs affect women’s rights. Tradition, custom and culture are frequently cited to justify 20, patriarchy and men’s discriminatory attitudes. This is a major barrier to gender equality.
Women in the Management Positions in the Public Service, Parastatals and Private Sector
The potential conflict between gender equality and traditional practices is the focal point of this publication, which assembles a variety of contributions addressing the relationship between women’s rights and customary law from different legal and socio-economic perspectives. Cultural practices and customary laws are put in the context of constitutional rights and enacted statutes. The publication contains contributions by prominent experts from various field, elucidating the topic from different perspectives, resulting in an interdisciplinary approach with regard to the problems addressed. Apart from illustrating some of the customs considered to be sensitive in terms of gender equality, the contributions also deal with the gap between customary and statutory law in Namibia, recent relevant developments in the process of law reform, and judicial reflections on women and custom in Namibia and Southern Africa. This prominent collection of articles, together with an introduction to the legal framework of women and custom in Namibia and an annexed compilation of the most relevant legal texts, provides the reader with a sound overview of the current situation with regard to women and custom in Namibia. Education is considered to be a key to successfully overcoming the subordinated izeqamgwago or prostitutes. The commission of on Gender Equality has criticised this practice as violating the rights to life, health and dignity of girls. The incidence of female genital mutilation (FGM), however, differs on the extent to which it occurs and as to whether it is a problem in the Namibian context. Some FGMs are possibly occurring in some immigrant communities. It is also thought that forced marriage occurs in some communities. The legal framework provides for the prohibition of such practices. For example, the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of unfair Discrimination Act 4 of 2000, generally protects women against discrimination. Section 8 of the Act sets out a list of possible cases of unfair discrimination, each of which It would need to be proved in terms of the Act. This section includes FGM, gender-based violence and “any practice, including any traditional, customary or religious practice, which impairs the dignity of women and undermines equality between women and men, including the undermining of the dignity and well-being of the girl-child.”
2-2 Government Policy on Gender Government Policy on Gender 1)
National Policy for Women’s Empowerment and Gender Equality of Namibia is to ensure gender equality and equitable socio-economic development of women, men and children.
The AGDI has been launched in Namibia and a National Advisory Committee has been
established to facilitate the process of collecting gender disaggregated data in Namibia. 3)
There are various new acts have been established in terms of Namibia.
[Government Policy and Development Plan on Women] The Namibia’s national policy and development plan are as follows: Mandate Ensure gender equality and equitable socio-economic development of women, men and children. Vision Statement To ensure that Namibia becomes "a society of equal opportunities for all". Mission Statement To create and ensure an enabling environment in which gender equality and the well-being of children can be realized. Overall Function of the Ministry -
Plan, develop, monitor, coordinate and advocate for the implementation of policies and programmes at national and regional levels.
Establish facilities to render specific services to the target group and the community at large.
Embark upon legal literacy to ensure that laws enacted are understood and made use of and to asses their impact on the lives of people.
Promote participatory, empowering and liberating strategies of community development.
Advice Regional Councils and Local Authorities on strengthening Regional staff community issues, activities and produce relevant mobilization and advocacy materials in order to promote behavioural change towards socio-economical development and in
still a sense of ownership of
the process of change. -
Mainstreaming gender at all sector levels countrywide.
Embark upon HIV/AIDS awareness campaign.
Strive to achieve that all children, including refugee children enjoy equal care, protection and opportunities.
The implementation, monitoring and evaluation of community-based programmes. 8
Provision of and access to material support for Income Generation Activities (IGA’s) at the Regional level.
The coordination with other line ministries, NGOs and international groups.
Ensuring efficient operational management at local and regional levels.
Training of parents on the importance of Integrated Early Childhood Development and supporting of attempts by communities to set community-based kindergartens, crèches, etc.
Ensuring capacity building of staff community members at local and regional levels.
Promoting the participation of women project members in all Trade Fairs to exhibit their goods/products and to gain ideas about marketing.
Ensuring preparation of action plans and suggested budget for the region on staff salaries and community development activities.
[On-going Activities for Women] African Gender Development Index (AGDI) The AGDI has been launched in Namibia and a National Advisory Committee has been established to facilitate the process of collecting gender disaggregated data in Namibia. The AGDI has been developed by the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) to address the lack of adequate indicators for measuring gender inequality and progress achieved with regard to the advancement of women. The Index has been piloted in 12 African countries, and the results of the field trials will be published in the African. Women’s Report was launched in 2006. The ECA is in the process of preparing the extension of the AGDI to other African countries and Namibia has been chosen to be part of this initiative which started last year 2006. Composition of the National Advisory Panel (NAP) Selected Ministries and organization nominated Senior Level officials as members of the AGDI’s NAP. The ECA team arrived in Namibia in April 2006 and the National Advisory Panel was launched. The NAP consists of: -
National Machinery for Gender – MGECW
Ministry in charge of Health – MoHSS
Ministry in Charge of Finance and Planning – Ministry of Finance
Ministry in charge of Education – ME
Ministry in Charge of Agriculture – MARD
National Bureau of Statistic – NPC
2 independent gender experts – MRCC & LAC
A representative from NGO – Namibia Women’s Network 9
1 other independent institution - NANGOF
The role of the National Advisory Panel is to: 1)
To provide intellectual advice and professional criticism.
To facilitate the work of the research institution during the field trials of the index
To validate the national chapter of the African Women’s Report (AWR) following the collection and the analysis of inputs from the field trial of the AGDI to ensure that the report is of high quality.
A research institution will be selected in Namibia to test the AGDI in the field with the support of the ECA. The institution will be responsible for conducting the field research and undertaking the initial data analysis using local researchers. Hence a NAP consisting of various ministries/stakeholder has to be appointed to guide the selected institution [Gender related laws and regulations] GAD related laws and regulations Laws and regulations Year Convention on the Elimination of All 1992 Forms of Discrimination against Women in 1992 (CEDAW), Namibia
Affirmative Action (Employment) 1998 Act The Combating of Rape Act of 2000 2003 and the Domestic Violence Act
The Traditional Authority Act,
The Community Court Act
The National Gender Policy
Content a large and sparsely populated country of under 2 million situated in the South-West of Africa -- presented its combined second and third periodic reports to the experts monitoring the implementation of that instrument in Chamber A toda This allows the court to order an equal employment opportunity of women with men in the country. Through this Act, women are afforded greater protection against actual or threatened physical violence, sexual, emotional, verbal, psychological and economic abuse as well as intimidation, harassment, stalking, damage to or destruction of property, or entry into their home without consent. This allows to give traditional leaders a quick response in cases such of violence to women in the community and at the households.. It outlines the basic working conditions and minimum wages for domestic workers and gardeners and also makes provision for annual wage increases for these workers. This policy improved institutional and administrative levels to address issues of gender equality in the country.. The policy also provided guidelines and set out the principles for implementation and coordination of gender issues. This also contributed to elevate the Department of Women’s Affairs to a fully fledged Ministry of Women’s Affairs and Child Welfare in 2000. It became the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare in 2005.
Laws and regulations The Constitution of Namibia
The Labour Act, and the Income Local Authority Act The Combating of Rape Act and A National Land Policy
The Communal Land Reform Act
The Labour Act
The Abortion and Sterilization Act The Educational Policy
The Married Persons Equality Act
Content This includes items to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, as confirmed by the High Court of Namibia in its interpretation of a case before it. 1992 This Act has had outlawed discrimination on the basis of sex in most aspects of employment 1992 This is to ensured higher representation of women in the decision-making process 2000 This is one of the measures adopted to combat violence against women. 1998 Under which a unitary land system was introduced, whereby all citizens had equal rights, opportunities and security across a range of tenure and management systems. 2002 This act provided for equal opportunities for both men and women to apply for and be granted land rights in communal areas. The Act further provided for the establishment of Communal Land Boards, which consist of 12 members -- not less than 4 of them women. 1992 Under The review of maternity leave was highly review emphasized, with countrywide consultations taking place with stakeholders, partners, unions and employers. 1975 Act on the abortion rights of women N/A This policy provided that a pregnant girl could continue with her education at school, until the time of her confinement, or an earlier date on the advice of a medical practitioner. 1996 This Act has abolished the marital power of the husband and provided for equal power of spouses to jointly decide on the administration of their joint property. N/A
Source: National Gender Policy, Domestic Violence Act among Measures Highlighted, 2007
2-3 National Machinery National Machinery on Gender 1) In Namibia, the national machinery on gender is the Directorate of Gender Equality in the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare. 2) The Directorate of Gender Equality has two divisions, namely Gender Mainstreaming and Research, Legal and International Affairs: [National Machinery on Gender Issues] Namibia has participated in the 1995 Beijing United Nations Fourth World Conference on
The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, which was an outcome of this gathering, is a powerful platform and agenda for the empowerment of women. It calls for the integration of gender perspectives in all policies and programs, mainly on concrete measures to address the critical areas of concern. The Platform calls, among others, for action to protect and promote the human rights of women and the girl child as an integral part of the universal human rights; to eradicate the persistent and increasing burden of poverty on women; to remove all obstacles to women’s full participation in public life and decision making at all levels including the family; to eliminate all forms of violence against women; to ensure equal access for girl children and women to education and health services; to promote economic autonomy for women and ensure their access to productive resources. In order to achieve these objectives, Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare, Directorate of Gender Equality will plan the below roles as a National Machinery of Gender issues. Directorate of Gender Equality, Ministry of Gender Equality And Child Welfare The Directorate of Gender Equality has two divisions, namely Gender Mainstreaming and Research, Legal and International Affairs: Mandate To promote gender equality by empowering both women and men through dissemination of information, coordination and networking with all stakeholders; and mainstreaming of gender at all levels; and to influence the law making process to bring about law and policy reform that are gender responsive. Objectives and Activities of the Directorate: -
To facilitate opportunities for external support and for local, regional and international cooperation; to work towards the development and empowerment of women and to ensure that economic and social discrimination based on gender is eliminated,
To facilitate the implementation process of national, regional and international instruments such as the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), Gender and Development Declaration (GAD), African Union (AU) Charter on People’s and Human Rights and to inform women of their rights through discussions and counseling,
To conduct Information, Education and Communication (IEC) programmes through meetings, seminars, talks, film shows etc.,
To promote innovation by women (through the establishment recreation centers and women centers),
To study and examine the situation of women and children, gender status in the country and conduct research on ways to improve their status by collecting data, statistics and information on women and children covering diverse aspects and summing collating the findings with academic centers and research institutions,
To facilitate legal literacy education in the community for both male and female, and
To build the capacity of women and men and to mainstream gender into programmes. The Structure of the Ministry Ministry Of Gender Equality and Child Welfare Minister
Hon. Marline Mungunda Deputy Minister Hon. Angelika Muharukua Permanent Secretary Ms. Sirkka Ausiku Directorate Gender
Directorate Community & Intergrated Early
Director:Mr. V. Shipoh
Director: Ms. E. Nghintwikwa
Deputy Director:Ms. R.
Deputy Director: Ms. M. Shalumbu
Deputy Director: Ms. S. Onesmus Directorate General Services Deputy Director:Mr. K. Kapenda
Source: Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare
Directorate Child Welfare Services Director: Mrs H. Andjamba
Current Situation of Women by Sector
3-1 Education Education 1)
The Namibian government is aiming at reaching this goal by eliminating gender disparity in primary and secondary education preferably by 2005, and in all levels of education n no later than 2015
The disparity between males and females in educational qualifications is still large. 20% of Black females and 13% of Black males do not have any formal schooling, whereas only less than 1% of White females and males do not have any formal schooling.
The enrolment of female student tends to increase.
The literacy rate of women has been improving.
The Namibian government is aiming at reaching this goal by eliminating gender disparity in primary and secondary education preferably by 2005, and in all levels of education n no later than 2015. The indicators are: -
Ratio of girls to boys in primary, secondary and tertiary education
Ratio of literate females to males of 15-24 year olds
[Gender consideration development plan and education by level and literacy education] The Numbers of girls to boys by years and level of education (Education Statistics, 2001) Level of Education Primary Secondary
% of Female
Source: 2001 Census There has been a gradual increase in the ratio of females. The ratio increased from 99.6 in 1995 to 100.0 in 2001. As for the secondary level, the ratio of girls to boys has been quite high. Under tertiary level, the ratio of girls to boys has been relatively low, but increased gradually from 75.3 in 1995 to 98.5 in 2001. Ratio of literate females to males of 15-24 year old (2001 Census).
Literacy Ratio between Female and Male Category
Source: 2001 Census
The table above represents the ratio of literate females to male of 15-24 years old. Overall, the Ratio of literate females to males is high in Namibia. This trend shows that Namibia‘s educational system is performing well and needs of women are also being met. The following gender-specific sectoral objectives and strategies are highlighted in the Plan: -
To integration of Women in Development (WID);
To increasing awareness about practical and strategic needs of women;
To reconcile existing customary laws and practices with the provision of the Constitution and CEDAW;
To recognize, accept and appreciate the significance of women’s role and contributions to food production;
To increase women’s physical accessibility to health facilities;
To reduce female illiteracy by more than half its current level;
To create awareness among women of the significance of commercial undertakings;
To increase the number of women in wage employment; and
To create more awareness among policy makers, planners; implementers, women and the general public on issues relating to the environment.
Furthermore, Namibia ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination
3-2 Health Health 1)
Government policy on women’s health is to improve the health of the Namibian population through the provision of relevant preventative, curative and rehabilitative health services which are affordable by all Namibians, in particular, women
Namibia gained its independence in 1990, and since then has made remarkable gains in social and economic conditions. While more than 75 percent of Namibian women deliver babies with the assistance of skilled birth attendants, life expectancy for women and men alike actually has fallen as a direct result of HIV. An estimated 20% of the country’s 2.1 million people are living with HIV.
Women account for 53% of all reported new HIV cases. In 2002 HIV prevalence among pregnant women was 22%. The Mministry of Health introduced a National Program for the prevention of Mother – to – Child HIV transmission in 2001 using Anti-Retroviral Drugs
National health services coverage is relatively high in Namibia
[Government Policy] The Namibia’s government policy on women’s health is as follows; -
To improve the health of the Namibian population through the provision of relevant preventative, curative and rehabilitative health services which are affordable by all Namibians, in particular, women4.
[Women’s General Health] Namibia gained its independence in 1990, and since then has made remarkable gains in social and economic conditions. While more than 75 percent of Namibian women deliver babies with the assistance of skilled birth attendants, life expectancy for women and men alike actually has fallen as a direct result of HIV. An estimated 20% of the country’s 2.1 million people are living with HIV. [Types of Available Health Services Nationwide5] The country’s health services are as follows; -
Delivery care (51%)
Education on HIV/AIDS (81.5%)
Family Planning (77.9%)
Namibia National Progress Report on the Implementation of the Beijing Platform For Action (Beijing +10) Namibia National Progress Report on the Implementation of the Beijing Platform For Action (Beijing +10)
Distribution of Condoms (81.3%)
Separate Ante and Post Natal Care (59.9%).
Hemoglobin testing is done for pregnant women. Women receiving antenatal care (90%).
Seventy-seven percent of the population has access to safe drinking water and sanitation6
[Gender and HIV/AIDS7] Women account for 53% of all reported new HIV cases. In 2002 HIV prevalence among pregnant women was 22%. The Ministry of Health introduced a National Program for the prevention of Mother – to – Child HIV transmission in 2001 using Anti-Retroviral Drugs i.e. Nevirapine. The service is now available for pregnant women in most regions of the country. The Third Mid- Term Plan on HIV/AIDS for the period 2004 – 2009 has been and is ready to be implemented. The document provides the framework for all the actors to collaborate and guide the implementation process needed for an effective multi-sectoral HIV/AIDS response. The following principles underpin all strategies contained in this document: HIV/AIDS is a developmental issue -
Broad political commitment
Civil Society involvement
Reduction of stigma and discrimination
Prevention to care continuum
Human rights based approach
Good governance, transparency and accountability
Access to care
Confidentiality and privacy
Responsiveness and flexibility
The MBESC and MHETEC have adopted a National Policy on HIV/AIDS for the education sector in 2003. Similarly, the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources has adopted an HIV/AIDS Policy. Parastatals such as NAMDEB, is providing Retroviral Drugs to its employees who are HIV positive. There is hope that other state owned enterprises will soon follow suit. The MWACW’s project on Mainstreaming Gender in Reproductive Health – have introduced the female condom. The project, through workshops and meetings demonstrates the use of the female condom throughout all the
Namibia National Progress Report on the Implementation of the Beijing Platform For Action (Beijing +10)
Namibia National Progress Report on the Implementation of the Beijing Platform For Action (Beijing +10)
regions. The condom was welcomed by many people and is distributed free of charge with the assistance of the UNFPA. There are also successful initiatives Gender norms—societal expectations of men’s and women’s roles and behaviours—help fuel the global HIV epidemic. Women’s low status and lack of power in many societies limits their ability to protect themselves from infection. At the same time, traditional male gender norms encourage men to equate a range of risky behaviours—the use of violence, substance abuse, the pursuit of multiple sexual partners, and domination of women—with being manly. Rigid constructs of masculinity also lead men to view health-seeking behaviours as a sign of weakness. These gender dynamics all play a critical role in increasing both men and women’s vulnerability to HIV. Engender Health’s Men As Partners program addresses these issues through a series of community workshops and activities. With support from the President’s Emergency Fund for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), Men As Partners launched in Namibia in early 2008. Among other activities, Engender Health and Lifeline/Child-line recently hosted a three-day digital storytelling workshop in Namibia, where 10 women and men shared their experiences with relationships and HIV.
3-3 Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries 1)
Nearly 80% of the population of Namibia is engaged in agriculture. In 1989, commercial agriculture, primarily exports of beef and cattle, contributed 10.8% of the GDP and employed 34.1% of the labor force.
Women account for 59% of all those engaged in skilled and subsistence agricultural work. According to the 1991 census. This work employs over 70% of rural women classified as employed.
At present, national gender mainstreaming in each ministry is not yet completed and there are no focal points in the Ministry of Agriculture or other technical ministries for promoting gender concerns, yet plans exist to facilitate an inter-ministerial network on gender issues, composed of individuals from the line ministries.
[Agricultural situation and policy in the country8] Nearly 80% of the population of Namibia is engaged in agriculture. In 1989, commercial agriculture, primarily exports of beef and cattle, contributed 10.8% of the GDP and employed 34.1% of the labour force. Of a total land area of 82.3 million hectares, 69.3 million (84%) are suitable for agriculture. The commercial farming sector consists of 44% of the agriculturally useable land. The communal farming sector consists of 41% of the agricultural land and accommodates approximately 64% of the population - of which an estimated 90% are dependent on subsistence agriculture for a living. Livestock constitutes the major source of livelihood. The main crops are maize, millet and wheat. The achievement of national food self-sufficiency is a major economic strategy of the country. [Agriculture and women] Women account for 59% of all those engaged in skilled and subsistence agricultural work. according to the 1991 census. This work employs over 70% of rural women classified as employed. While the 1991 census takes account of subsistence agriculture for the first time, it does not capture the full involvement of women in the work force as it overlooks the participation of many "homemakers" (22.4%) of the women who are classified as not economically active) in agriculture and other productive activities. A comparison of the employment status of the economically active population in rural areas shows that many more women than men are own account or unpaid family workers.
Women and Agriculture in Namibia, web site (source is not available)
Status of Economically Active Population in Rural Areas Source: 1991 Census. I
[Women’s decision making power in agriculture] Since women are primarily smallholders engaged in subsistence agriculture, few are represented in commercially-oriented farmers associations such as the Namibia Agricultural Union (NAU). However, women comprise 30 to 60% of the affiliate associations of the Namibia National Farmers Union (NNFU), established in 1992 for communal farmers whose activities, however, focus mainly on marketing and surplus production rather than on improved food production and food processing for women farmers. At present, national gender mainstreaming in each ministry is not yet completed and there are no focal points in the Ministry of Agriculture or other technical ministries for promoting gender concerns, yet plans exist to facilitate an inter-ministerial network on gender issues, composed of individuals from the line ministries.
Women in Decision-making Positions in Ministries and Government Bodies Source: Personnel Officers, Namibia
3-4 Economic Activities Economic Activities 1)
The national policy on gender and employment is to promote equal economic rights between men and women as well as the economic independence of women.
The proportion of unemployed females is higher than that of their male counterparts.
[Government policy in terms of employment opportunities of women] The national policy on gender and employment is to promote equal economic rights between men and women as well as the economic independence of women. In order for this objective to be realized, various legal framework and other programs were put in place in different government Ministries and other agencies geared towards promoting women’s economic self-sufficiency. [Female labor force] About 54% of the population aged 15 years and above belongs to the labor force in Namibia. Table below shows that, out of these, about 69% were employed, while 31% were unemployed. At national level, slightly over two thirds of the labor force population is employed, while the rest are unemployed. The proportion of unemployed females is higher than that of their male counterparts. Economically Active population aged 15 years and above Area Namibia
by activity status, sex and area, Namibia, 2001 Census Activity Status Total Female Male Total Female Number Number Number % %
Employed Unemployed Total
Employed Unemployed Total
Force Source: CENSUS, 2001
[Government support on female employment] The followings are laws/regulations which support women’s participation in economic activities. 1) The Affirmative Action (Employment) Act 28 of 1998 The Act makes provision for people in designated group i.e. racially disadvantaged people, women and the people with disability to equally enjoy equal employment opportunities at all levels of employment and be equitably represented in various sectors. The Act is intended to improve the participation of blacks, women and people with disability in the formal workforce, by requiring employers with more than 50 employees to prepare Affirmative Action Plans with clear time-frames. 2) The Establishment of the Employment Equity Commission The Employment Equity Commission was established to monitor Affirmative Action Programs and consists of persons from the designated groups. It is required that two persons should represent women’s interests, although only one is mandatory to be a woman. Employers are required to submit progress reports on their implementation status to the Commission that oversees if the Act’s provisions are adhered to. 3) Other programs aimed at empowering women economically There are also other programs, such as, the Affirmative Action Loan Scheme from the Ministry of Agriculture Water and Rural Development where women are benefiting from the loans. The Agricultural Bank of Namibia also offers loans to farmers aimed at improving their agricultural activities with low interest rates and women are beneficiaries form this scheme. The MWACW also provides grants to women to assist them in establishing small projects to generate income. MWACW facilitates women’s participation in Trade Fairs and assist women exhibitors with transportation to and from the fairs and buying them stalls. The Namibian National Women in Business Association is a body that also facilitates women who are in business through the sharing of information and capacity building.
Gender issues which should be particularly taken into consideration in future JICA and other donors/NGOs’ intervention in the country.
1) There is a gap in gender issues between urban and rural area in Namibia. It is suggested to take it into consideration in any intervention. 2) It is also suggested to see the gap among tribes. There are some tribes which maintain their strong traditional customs but there less access to social services such as education and also economic activities, which also affects gender issues among them..
On-going Gender Projects
Project / Implementing Program Organization Women / General Gender Legal Assistant Research & Centre, Namibia Advocacy Project Increasing the WHO involvement of women in natural resources management Education Quarterly UNAID Primary Education Health / Medicine Risk of UNAID HIV/AIDS The Rights Legal Assistant Approach to Centre, Namibia HIV Agriculture, Forestry, Fishery Land, Legal Assistant Environment Centre, Namibia and Development (LEAD) Project Economic Activities Economic USAID Empowerment Others NICI Project
Natural Resource Development
Economic Commission Africa
Legal Assistant Centre, Namibia
Legal Assistant Centre, Namibia
Legal assistant HIV
Legal Assistant Centre, Namibia
Economic growth and development
Economic Commission for Africa
Information and communicati ons technologies hold the promise of enormous positive influence on our countries’ economic and social development Natural resource development
Legal assistant to Gender issues In Namibia Women’s participation for natural resource management
Legal assistant to land and environment
Project / Program Accountability of Government Human Rights and Constitution Encouraging the Namibian government to make conservation a priority
Implementing Organization USAID
Donor Organization USAID
Legal Assistant Centre, Namibia
Legal Assistant Centre, Namibia N/A
Budget （US$） N/A N/A
Area Governance Legal assistant to human rights Governance and environment
Gender Information Sources
6-1 List of Organizations related to Gender Name of Organization Area of Specialization Government Organization Ministry of Women's Overall gender issues Affairs and Child Welfare (MWACW)
Department of Women's Affairs, Office of the President
International Organisation United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) Southern Africa Regional Office
NGOs Khomas Women in Development (KWID)
Activity Gender mainstreaming
Contact Corner of Independence Avenue and Juvenis Building Private Bag 13359 Private Bag 13339, Windhoek, Namibia Ph#: (264-61) 2833111/2833204 Fax#: (264-61) 221304/226842 Email: [email protected]
a.com.na Tre Building, 1st Floor, Private Bag 13339, Windhoek Ph#: (264-61) 226 842 / 226 637 Fax#: (264-61) 32 222 E-mail: [email protected]
Overall gender issues
Regional gender mainstreaming that covers Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles Islands, Namibia, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zimbabwe
Takura House, 67/69 Union Avenue Harare, Zimbabwe Ph#: 263 4 792 681 Fax#: 263 4 704 729
Private Bag 13329, Windhoek, Namibia 264 Ph#: + 264 61-204-6111 Fax#: + 264 61-204-6207 Email: [email protected]
Web site: www.undp.org/rba/
This organization is a good resource for women in Namibia to seek information, education,
P.O. Box 7061 Katatura, ERF 682, Windhoek, Namibia Ph#: 264-61 218723
Name of Organization
Legal Assistance Centre
Area of Specialization and support while learning new skills and developing confidence to promote their advancement. Working on law reform issues, compiling statutes on rape and domestic violence from countries around the world
Human Rights/Political Status of Women, Conflict Resolution and Peace Building, Interfaith Dialogue, Refugees, Disarmament
Namibian Women’s Association (NAWA)
Overall Gender issues
Lesbian Rights, Media & Communication, Reproductive Rights, Sexuality, Violence Against Women
As of March 2009
Contact Fax#: 264-61 265893
P.O. Box 604, Windhoek, Namibia 4 Korner str., Windhoek, Namibia Ph#: 061 223356 Fax#: 061 234953 Email: [email protected]
P.O. Box 3370 John Knox Street, Maroela, Katutura Ph#: 061 262 461 Fax#: 061 213 379 P.O. Box 40092, Windhoek 9000 Ph #: 264 61 230 618/230 757 Fax #: 264 61 236 371 Email: [email protected]
or [email protected]
6-2 List of reports and references related Gender Title General Statistics Namibia Household Income and Expenditure Survey Population Projections 2001-2031 2001 Population and Housing Census Education and Training Education Statistics
Staff of Central Bureau of Central Bureau of Statistics Statistics Staff of Central Bureau of Central Bureau of Statistics Statistics Staff of Central Bureau of Central Bureau of Statistics Statistics
Education Management Information System (EMIS)
Health and Medicine Demographic and Health Survey
Ministry of Education, Namibia
Staff of Ministry of Health and Social Services A Guide to HIC and AIDS Directorate for Special Programmes The National Strategic Plan on Directorate for Special HIV/AIDS, Third Medium Term Programmes Plan 2004-2009 National Policy on HIV/AIDS National AIDS Committee
Ministry of Health and Social 2008 Services Ministry of Health and Social 2008 Services Ministry of Health and Social 2004 Services
A Guide to HIV and AIDS Directorate for Special Workplace Programmes Programmes Report on the 2008 national HIV Directorate for Special Sentinel Survey Programmes Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries The National Agricultural Policy Staff of Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Rural Development Economic Activities9 National Account National Planning Commission Social/Gender Analysis Statistics on Men and Women in Staff Ministry of Gender Management Positions in the Equality and Child Welfare Private sector of Namibia Statistics on Men and Women in Staff Ministry of Gender Management Positions in the Equality and Child Welfare Parastatals of Namibia Statistics on Men and Women in Staff Ministry of Gender Management Positions in the Equality and Child Welfare Public Sector of Namibia National Development Plan Government of Namibia (Goal Indicators, Baseline and Target in Gender issues) Ministerial Annual Report Staff Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare National Gender Policy Department of Women’s Affairs
Economic activities of women are included in general statistics
Ministry of Health and Social Services Ministry of Health and Social Services Ministry of Health and Social Services
Ministry of Agriculture, 1995 Water and Rural Development Central Bureau of Statistics
Ministry of Gender Equality 2006 and Child Welfare Ministry of Gender Equality 2006 and Child Welfare Ministry of Gender Equality 2006 and Child Welfare Government of Namibia
Ministry of Gender Equality 2006 and Child Welfare Office of the President 1997
Title Monitoring and Evaluation Plan, for the National Plan of Action 2006-2010 for Orphans and Vulnerable Children in Namibia Vol. 1 Monitoring and Evaluation Plan, for the National Plan of Action 2006-2010 for Orphans and Vulnerable Children in Namibia Vol. 1 National Gender Policy, Domestic Violence Act among Measures Highlighted Anti-discrimination committee experts welcome namibia’s steps to advance women’s Namibia National Progress Report on the Implementation of the Beijing Platform For Action (Beijing +10)
Author Publisher/Source Year Staff Ministry of Gender Ministry of Gender Equality 2007 Equality and Child Welfare and Child Welfare
Staff Ministry of Gender Ministry of Gender Equality 2007 Equality and Child Welfare and Child Welfare
Minister of Gender Equality Minister of Gender Equality 2007 and Child Welfare Presents and Child Welfare Presents Report,
Ministry of Women Affairs Ministry of Women Affairs 2004 and Child Welfare and Child Welfare
Informal sector Part of economy consisting of small competitive individual or family firms listed in the labor indicators. According to the definition of ILO, those engaged in this sector have simple technology, insufficient amount of capital, unidentified business location, minimum number of employees (or none of them), lack of legality and registration, and no capability of bookkeeping. Reproductive health/rights Health/Rights concerning sex and reproduction. To be able to live safe and satisfied sex life, and to have freedom to decide whether, when and how many children to deliver. National machinery Administrative organization to promote equal participation between men and women, and to implement and strengthen policies related to women, and to supplement organization for women. Affirmative action Prioritized positive measure to promptly correct the difference, in the case that discriminated groups are placed in extremely unequal conditions to other groups, due to the discrimination accumulated in the past. Inflation rate Instead, GDP deflator is used. Gini index Aggregate numerical measures of income inequality ranging from 0 to 100. A Gini index of zero represents perfect equality, while an index of 100 implies perfect inequality. Percentage of Women’s Income There are no appropriate data comparable to each country. UNDP works out that the women’s income is 75% of men’s in non-agricultural sector. Total fertility rate Average number of children whom a woman delivers in all her life Under-one mortality rate Annual number of infants who die among 1,000 newborn babies within 1 year after the birth Under-five mortality rate Annual number of infants who die 1,000 newborn babies within 5 years after birth Maternal mortality rate Annual number of mothers who die among 100,000 cases of delivery due to pregnancy Percentage of births attended by trained health personnel The rate of births with the help of doctors, nurses, midwives, trained health personnel, or trained traditional midwives Percentage of infants with low birth weight The rate of newborn children of which the birth weight is less than 2,500 grams Oral Rehydration Therapy (ORT) use rate The rate of using oral rehydrate salt or substitute solution for under- infants having diarrhea Enrolment ratio of primary and secondary school
Total enrolment ratio (or gross enrolment ratio) is the rate of pupils going to school with no respect to school age against population at the school age. Net enrolment ratio is the rate of pupils going to school at the school age against the people at the school age.