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#WCW: UNIC Windhoek celebrates UN Resident Coordinator to Namibia, Ms. Kiki Gbeho

Kiki wcw updatedEach Wednesday, the United Nations Information Centre (Windhoek) celebrates women through its #WednesdayCelebrateWomen social media campaign. This week, UNIC Windhoek celebrates Ms. Kiki Gbeho, the UN Resident Coordinator to Namibia. Read UNIC Windhoek’s interview with Ms. Gbeho to learn more about her role as well and her thoughts on women’s empowerment and gender equality in Namibia.

Could you briefly describe your role as the UN Resident Coordinator to Namibia? What has been the most rewarding part of being in this position?

Key components of my work include to:

  • Ensure coordinated support to the Government of Namibia, when they request it, to deliver on their national development plans. The UN does this primarily through its partnership framework with government. The focus is in four areas (Poverty, Health, Education and Environment) with gender and youth cutting across all activities.
  • Ensure effective advocacy with not only the highest level of Government but also the people of Namibia particularly on the global development agenda 2030/SDGs. Advocacy includes the four partnership areas. The idea is to get across key messages, and share best practise and information from all over the globe with Namibia. I have noticed for example that information we share with statistical backing is appreciated on our social media accounts.
  • I also encourage and support national efforts in disaster risk reduction. For example, currently the UN is supporting the Office of the Prime Minister to develop a national strategy for mainstreaming Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation into development planning. These efforts are in order to enhance national resilience to disasters. The UN is also supporting Government on Drought Preparedness, through development of policy and guidelines for nutrition in emergencies.
  • As the Designated Official, I ensure effective coordination of country-level security and the safety of all UN staff and dependants, and lead the inter-agency Security Management Team.

Why is women’s empowerment important?

His Excellency the President has declared a war on Poverty, elaborated the HPP and announced that 2016 is the year of implantation. We will not accelerate development nor eradicate poverty if half the population (51.5% female) are not on board. There are numerous studies that demonstrate that women are great multipliers of development progress. African women are the pillars of the community whether because of the work they carry out as care givers, or supporting their families by working on their farms. They are often held back because of lack of recognition and ‘rewards’ for the work they undertake; lack of education; and sometimes insufficient protection.

Africa will not grow, realise Agenda 2063, or the SDGs without investing in women. Women are a resource that is not fully tapped. Continue reading