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Last Updated:22 May 2014
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Gender issues matter in elections: IPPR
Gender issues might matter in the forthcoming elections, as some political parties have shown a very serious commitment with gender equality on their party lists.
A newsletter issued recently by Election Watch and produced by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) Issue No 7 2009 indicated that the Communist Party of Namibia, Congress of Democrats (CoD) and the National Democratic Party of Namibia (NDP) have addressed gender equality, which is visible on their party lists.
The Communist Party of Namibia has more women than men, with 60 per cent women in the top 10 spots.
The CoD and NDP both utilise the ‘zebra-style list’, altering women and men throughout.
“All three of these parties are to be congratulated on their commitment to balanced gender representation,” it said.
The United Democratic Front (UDF) and the Republican Party (RP) tie for a close second place for the most gender-balanced lists, with 51 and 50 per cent men respectively on their party lists of 72 members.
However, only 40 per cent of women are in the top 10 slots of both parties, according to the newsletter.
The IPPR pointed out that women’s representation is very close to the ideal 50/50, and shows a serious effort by the parties to advance women in the party.
The Democratic Party of Namibia (DPN), Democratic Thurnalle Alliance (DTA), Swanu and the All People’s Party (APP) can be ranked in a four-way tie for third place on gender-balanced party lists.
It indicated that the DPN has slightly fewer women then the other three parties on its full list (38 per cent), but more women (50 per cent) in the top 10.
The other three parties all have 42 per cent women on their full lists, but in smaller per centages in the top 10 slots – 40 per cent DTA, 30 per cent Swanu and 20 per cent APP.
According to the newsletter, three parties have women in only about one-third of the places on their total lists with even fewer women in the top 10 slots.
The National Unity Democratic Organisation of Namibia (Nudo) leads within this category, with 30 per cent women in the top 10, while Swapo and the Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) both have only two women in their top 10 places (20 per cent).
“Interestingly, the manifestos of all three of these parties make reference to gender balance – a commitment to fair presentation of women in national government (Nudo), equal access for women in political activities (Swapo) and a policy striving for at least 50 per cent representation of women in government (RDP). But none of these parties seem to be fully practising what they preach on gender,” it stressed.
The Monitor Action Group (MAG) has slightly more women on its full list (38 per cent), but not a single woman in the top 10, which the IPPR described as consistent with its stance against gender quotas.
The Namibia Democratic Movement for Change (Namibia DMC) is doing poorly in gender balance on both measures, with only 16 per cent women on its full list and only one woman in the top 10 – in complete contradiction to its call for at least 50 per cent representation of women at all levels.
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