Namibia: Swanu MP Catches Flak Over Women Dependency Comment

15 October 2020

Swanu parliamentarian Tangeni Iijambo was yesterday slammed in the National Assembly over his comments about women being too dependent on men.

"Our women are too dependent, and dependency is what brings a lot of problems for men who invest in them," commented Iijambo, who also appeared to suggest that the supposed dependency syndrome was contributing to gender-based violence in society.

The remarks, which were made during Iijambo's contribution to a motion introduced by PDM MP Winnie Moongo that seeks for the establishment of a sex offender register to curb sexual violence, did not sit well with MPs, including Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, who demanded that Iijambo withdraw the comments. Both Kuugongelwa-Amadhila and deputy minister of information Emma Theofelus accused the Swanu leader of making unguided comments about women. The youthful deputy minister demanded that Iijambo withdraw his comments as he did not have any proof to support his remarks. "I would like to inform the honourable member that what he his doing is simply categorising women as dependent and he does not have proof to that. What he is also asserting is that what is currently happening to women is justified, he must withdraw," she said.

Theofilus' sentiments were supported by Kuugongelwa-Amadhila who also insisted Iijambo withdraw his remarks, saying that African women are indeed hard-working, and they do so under difficult circumstances. "The latter is degrading of women, we cannot agree to have them insulted in this house, in fact African women are hard-working and they do it under difficult circumstances. He must withdraw his comments," the prime minister said. Among those who took issue with Iijambo's remarks included PDM chief whip Vipua Muharukua. "It is not true that African women are dependent. That opinion in itself is un-parliamentary, in fact the women out there have listened to your comments and they should act accordingly when they go to the ballots in the upcoming elections," he said. A defiant Iijambo defended his remarks as he continued to finish his contribution despite interjections from fellow MPs. His remarks also come at time when anti-femicide and sexual gender-based violence activists have been protesting against violence against women and children countrywide. -

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