Spain-Africa meeting adopts Windhoek Declaration

Below is an article from our Affirmative Action Media Monitoring Project. These articles represent a wide variety of views. These views do not necessarily represent the views of AAPF but instead are intended to provide you with an overview of the current affirmative action debate.

April 11, 2011

By Alvine Kapitako

WINDHOEK – The sixth Spain-Africa international meeting on women for a better world ended in the capital yesterday with the adoption of the 2011 Windhoek Declaration. Minister of Gender Equality and Child Welfare, Doreen Sioka, read the three-page declaration at the meeting that was attended by Government ministers from across Africa and Spain, diplomats, members of parliament and governors, among others. The declaration has 12 themes and it was sparked by the recognition that the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals is directly linked to the empowerment of women to guarantee the full realisation of their rights. “And in the context of the current international economic crisis, special attention should be given to the participation of the advancements in the status of women, in national public policies, regional and international programmes, among others,” the declaration said. Those in attendance, among others, committed to jointly foster affirmative action for women and girls in Africa in order to bring up their condition and standing to that of men and boys, and also to increase women’s participation at all levels of decision-making, and to provide support to women in governance and decision-making positions. They also committed to broadening and strengthening partnership between state and civil society for the advancement of women and girls’ rights. – Continue to support sustainable civil society projects to increase the capacities and autonomy of African women, within national and regional programmes and policies, in order to advance toward the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) and in particular MDG 3, and the Beijing Declaration, particularly among other programmes and instruments through the Spain NEPAD fund for the empowerment of African women. In her closing remarks, Junior Minister of International Co-operation of Spain, Soraya Rodriguez said platforms such as the just concluded meeting are necessary to fight inequality between men and women. Giving figures on the current situation, she said fighting for gender equality is a worthy cause because women have less access to resources compared to their counterparts. She pointed out that 70% of people living in poverty are women. She added that 70% of children that do not attend school are girls, 70% of women devote their time to family care. She said further that 50% of women are agriculturalists and yet the profit they produce does not match up to that of their male counterparts. She expressed hope that women would continue working together and not just on platforms such as the meeting noting that fighting for gender equality is a worthy fight. Speaking at the opening of the meeting, Deputy Minister of Gender Equality and Child Welfare, Angelika Muharukua said the meeting is a milestone in the history of Gender Equality in Namibia. “I believe that the two days of deliberations will result in specific measures in support for planning that will enhance gender equality, “ she said.

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