Windhoek — The Swapo Party Women's Council (SPWC) has urged delegates to the party congress that takes place from November 29 to December 02 to vote for female candidates.
There are 46 women candidates for positions on the Central Committee of the party, while the party Secretary General Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana is the only woman contesting for the party's vice-presidency against the incumbent, Dr Hage Geingob, and Jerry
Ekandjo, the Secretary for Information and Mobilisation.
Eunice Iipinge, Deputy Secretary of the SPWC said voting for women at the congress would be in line with the women council's resolutions of December 2011 and the Swapo Party policy conference that endorsed the SADC Protocol's requirement for 50/50 gender representation in decision-making structures.
The successful vice-president would ultimately stand as candidate in the country's presidential election in 2014.
"We are encouraged and motivated that at the level of the top four positions, two women are standing ... Iivula-Ithana for the vice-president and [Omaheke Regional Governor] Laura McLeod-Katjirua for the position of Deputy Secretary General.
"We have also with appreciation noted that 46 women candidates are standing for the Central Committee positions," said Iipinge.
Iipinge made the announcement while briefing the media on the outcomes of a workshop that took place over the weekend.
The SPWC resolved at its December 2011 congress in Swakopmund "to intensify its efforts for the representation of women in all decision-making organs of the Swapo Party to achieve the 50/50 representation by 2013."
McLeod-Katjirua will contest the position of party Deputy Secretary General with the Minister of Education, Dr Abraham Iyambo.
"We recognise the individual democratic right to decide on which candidates one will give his or her vote. However, we are calling all congress delegates who are involved in exercising their rights and political obligations to consider the afore-mentioned relevant provisions of the Swapo Party constitution and resolutions that call for gender equality. Comrades, male and female delegates, vote for women candidates," stated Iipinge.