By Confidente Reporter
UNITED Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Namibia Representative, Dennia Gayle, has emphasised the importance of investing in reproductive health, which will enable girls and women to make better economic decisions, so that they can be productive and lift themselves out of poverty.
Speaking at Dordabis recently, during an event commemorating International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, Gayle said, “Unless we link inequalities to health and education, we will suffer in the area of reducing economic inequalities in this country. Let’s invest better in health, so that our people can be innovative. Unemployment, education and health must be relooked at, in order to improve social progression.”
She said that inequality, in the Namibian context, also meant a lack of investment in sexual and reproductive health, which would help to “empower our women and girls to become economic and productive citizens”.
Sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) is the concept of human rights applied to sexuality and reproduction. It is a combination of four fields, which are sexual health, sexual rights, reproductive health and reproductive rights.
United Nations Resident Coordinator, Kiki Gbeho, said it is not impossible to end poverty.
She said that since Namibia’s independence, there are more children in schools, while more clinics had also been built in the country.
However, too many Namibian girls were becoming mothers, before finishing school.
She added that a quarter of children in school are malnourished.
Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare Minister, Zephania Kameeta, said that the theme of this year’s International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, ‘Answering the call to end poverty: A path toward peaceful and inclusive societies’, emphasises that hunger, a lack of education and violence are not inevitable.
Kameeta said that extreme poverty must be something we all strive to eradicate.
“I’m particularly touched by this year’s theme, as it relates to the vision of the ministry, which is, ‘A caring and inclusive society that ensures coordinated access to basic social services and promotes dignity for all Namibians’. This clearly indicates that the Namibian government is committed to creating a just, equitable and inclusive society for all Namibians,” he said.
Kameeta said that some claim that “God made us poor and others rich”, but that this was not true. “Poverty wasn’t made by God, it is man-made; greed and selfishness and can be eradicated, since it’s man-made. Poverty is an establishment of men and not by natural creation.”
Kameeta said that the Namibian government had, therefore, declared war on poverty.
He said that critical to this war, is education and that feeding schoolchildren was also part of poverty eradication efforts.
“Never quit and never give up trying to get out of poverty. Do whatever little you can, because once your efforts multiply, then the number of those being lifted from poverty multiplies as well. Do something for yourself, start somewhere, so that the ministry is able to assist and meet you halfway.
“We travelled throughout Namibia, as directed by President Hage Geingob, and when we consulted; we heard a lot, and as a result of those consultations we formulated the Blueprint on Wealth Redistribution and Poverty Eradication and Implementation Plan. This document is now ready for your deliberations and usage, to help eradicate poverty,” Kameeta said.
Dordabis is situated southeast of Windhoek and has a population of about 1 500 people, 85 percent of whom are unemployed.
Many depend on old age pension grants.
Most civil servants, like police officers, don’t live in the community, but simply serve and go back to the areas they reside in.
The dignitaries also visited a community sewing project that is supported by the Khomas Regional Council.
They also visited a community garden, which was started by a group of 34 people, but now only has one woman managing it.
She informed the delegation that the garden caters for those that are bedridden, as well as those who are on anti-retroviral and TB medication.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015