Okahandja, 24 September: The UN System in Namibia (UN Namibia) discussed issues of the girl-child and gender inequality with over 200 learners at Okahandja Secondary School through the Prosperous Paths: Empowering the Namibian Girl-Child programme.
As part of its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the UN is working towards achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls, in line with SDG Goal 5. Through a variety of programmes, including Prosperous Paths, UN Namibia aims to motivate and inspire the youth to follow their dreams and to be empowered and educated in order to be employable tomorrow.
After successfully engaging with over 5,000 girls in Windhoek in 2016, UN Namibia has begun to roll out Prosperous Paths in Namibia’s regions, starting with Okahandja in the Otjozondjupa region. Urging the female learners to use their unique talents and voices to bring about change, the UN Resident Coordinator to Namibia, Kiki Gbeho encouraged the learners to, “Take space, be prepared and dare to be different”.
The motivated group of learners took space at the event, using their voices to suggest solutions for issues impacting their communities, including gender inequality, poverty, teenage pregnancy and sexual violence. Highlighting the importance of education, one learner said that women and vulnerable groups should be empowered through various educational campaigns.
Another learner emphasised that sexual and reproductive health (SRH) education needs to start at home, with open conversations between parents and their children. Likewise, a learner mentioned that conversations about sexual violence and gender equality need to happen with boys and men from an early age.
Gbeho, impressed by the students, encouraged them to follow their dreams and find their #ProsperousPaths. “You all have the potential to make a difference. Success will come from you deciding that you will succeed against all odds,” she said.