Vice President Nangolo Mbumba on Wednesday launched the #WeAreEqual campaign, a continental action plan by Africa’s first ladies aimed at closing the gender gap in Africa.
#WeAreEqual is an initiative of the Organisation of African First Ladies for Development (OAFLAD), which has a membership of 45 first ladies across Africa. The initiative is aimed at advancing gender equity and closing the gender gap across the continent.
Speaking at the launch at State House, Mbumba said the campaign aims to advocate and improve the lives of women and girls in Namibia and across Africa by promoting gender equality. He said women and men possess the same inherent dignity and deserve the same rights as they have the same potential to contribute to society regardless of gender.
“With this campaign, we want to bring an essential truth that women and men are equal, no exception. Despite the fundamental truth, the reality faced by many girls and women across Africa tells a different story and Namibia is no exception,” he noted.
According to the Global Gender Gap Index (GGGI), Namibia has been ranked as the most gender-equal country in Africa, and the eighth most gender-equal country in the world as of June 2023. No country has however achieved full gender parity yet.
Mbumba highlighted that the campaign will focus on areas where women and girls mostly experience inequality such as health, education and economic empowerment, amongst others.
Speaking at the same occasion, Namibia’s First Lady and President of OAFLAD, Monica Geingos said African first ladies are joining hands to shine a spotlight on the importance of closing gender gaps, how gender equality benefits everyone, and why it is essential for progress on all fronts of development.
“Inequality continuously manifests itself in every shape that challenges society and the result of inequality speaks for itself and we need to listen… #WeAreEqual speaks to the discrimination women and girls experience in everyday lives, and together we can break down the wall that is standing in their equal rights,” she noted.
Geingos further noted that the campaign equally aims to bring together stakeholders and partnerships with the mission to overcome harmful gender practices and build towards the African Union Agenda 2063 where both women and men conquer ‘The Africa We Want’.
The campaign was officially launched in Kinshasa, Congo by OAFLAD in June 2023 and Namibia is the first country to launch its national campaign.