NAMIBIAN women from all walks of life have made it clear that political parties will have to earn their votes, and will be held accountable for the promises they make.
This message was communicated to political parties yesterday during a dialogue with women as part of the Women Claiming Citizenship Campaign, where a "women's advocacy brochure" outlining the demands of Namibian women was also launched.
The demands listed in the brochure include "freedom from violence and discrimination, freedom from harmful cultural practices and beliefs, freedom from hunger and poverty, access to resources and services, freedom from preventable diseases and access to quality healthcare for all, freedom from HIV and AIDS, and access to quality education and training."
Giving the keynote address at the event, Anna Beukes, Executive Director of the Namibia NGO Forum (NANGOF), pointed out that women make up 52 per cent of the country's population, and that their voices therefore needed to fully acknowledged.
She said that as women prepared to take to the polls for the fourth national elections since Independence, they wouldn't be voting simply for the sake of voting, but being conscious of their rights and the policies and legislation to which Namibia is party, they would hold politicians accountable for their work.
The parties present at the forum included the All People's Party (APP), the Congress of Democrats (CoD), the National Democratic Party (NDP), the Namibia Democratic Movement of Change (NDMC), Nudo, the Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP), Swanu and the UDF.
Representatives of the eight parties present each stated their party's stance on some of the issues affecting women, and responded to a number of questions.