EU commits to improve CSOs

22 May 2020 | Business

An amount of N$17.5 million, funded by the European Union (EU) and the Konrad-Adenauer- Stiftung, will be used to strengthen the roles of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and the women democracy project.
This is in line with the EU and Namibia’s commitment to improve the participation of CSOs in governance and development. This 30-month project will be implemented by the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung supported by its partner, Women’s Action for Development (WAD).
According to a statement from the EU, the target regions are Kavango East, Kavango West, Ohangwena and Omusati where CSOs which focus primarily on gender, gender-based violence and women’s right will participate.
The project seeks to address two issues, including to narrow the gap between the favourable gender policy and legal environment established by the Government and the lack of genuine societal change required to implement and benefit from it. “Although Namibia is progressive in many areas, it still has strong patriarchal structures, harmful gender practices and inordinately high levels of gender based crime,” the statement read.
Secondly, CSOs lack organisational, financial and technical capacity hindering them in rendering support in enabling women to feel safe, heard and empowered agents of change and development.
“Namibia’s attention to gender equitable policies, plans and laws show good intent, in-depth understanding of the benefits of women empowerment and greater gender equity lags far behind, especially at community level. In many cases women themselves further entrench the patriarchy through their espousal of traditional gender norms, meaning that even women in decision-making roles at a national level cannot always be relied upon to promote gender equality.”
About 4 000 constituents from participating CSOs will benefit from this project. “They will know how to access protection, social grants, finance, justice and other means to empower and capacitate them. Furthermore, their views and experiences will be reflected and addressed in advocacy, lobbying and communication activities undertaken by the CSOs.”

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