By Eliaser Ndeyanale
NEWLY elected Swapo Party Women’s Council (SPWC) secretary Eunice Iipinge has acceded to demands to provide sanitary pads to schoolgirls from underprivileged backgrounds.
She said under her leadership SPWC will provide sanitary towels to schoolgirls from poor households.
“Due to poverty, girls lack sanitary pads and as a result do not attend school until the cycle is over. This increased absenteeism and dropout affects the performance of the girl child,” she said.
She further stated that by providing sanitary pads, many girls will concentrate and complete school with increased performance. She said the gender gap between boys and girls enrolment and retention in schools will be reduced.
In October this year female MPs in the National Assembly were reluctant to discuss a motion by DTA leader McHenry Venaani that called for Government to provide free sanitary towels to needy schoolgirls.
Surprisingly, female MPs were not keen on discussing the matter after Venaani concluded his motivation saying they were embarrassed to discuss menstruation in Parliament.
Speaking to Confidente on Tuesday, Iipinge who triumphed over former health deputy minister Petrina Haingura with 249 votes to 223, and 81 for Sylvia Kandanga-Sheetekela at the SPWC congress held in Keetmanshoop last week, said she will ensure all congress resolutions will be implemented.
This is the second time that Iipinge will be steering the SPWC; a key post in Swapo’s women’s league. Iipinge who was first elected as SPWC secretary in 2001 and lost her position to Haingura in 2006 at SPWC in Rundu would now have to work hard in rebuilding the women’s council to its former glory.
In 2004, under Iipinge’s leadership SPWC lobbied for 12 women to represent the party in the National Council. The 12 were nominated in constituencies where Swapo had full control and therefore stood a good chance at winning.
She hopes to see more female representation in Parliament.
Iipinge first became involved in the SPWC in 1980 in Luanda when she was elected into the then Swapo Women’s Council and at the wing’s congress in 1991 she was chosen as assistant secretary for Social Welfare and Legal Affairs. She became assistant secretary for Information, Research and Programmes at the 1996 congress.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015