Namibia – Mariental Council

Date: July 5, 2018
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The Mariental Council is mindful of the ever increasing role for Local authorities in Namibia. It has realized the need to become more effective and efficient in view of scarce financial resources, and has decided to embark on a participatory process to develop a local strategic plan to improve the town.

With regards to gender-related policies, the councillors as politicians are supporting the staff for gender mainstreaming in local authority. Councillors, staff and community has go through all stages on training. The council has a total number of seven councillors, by which three of them are male and four are female. The Deputy Mayor of the council is a female.

Mariental Council has three committees and two of those are chaired by women. Women within the council are given platforms to lead. Mariental has no Junior Council, and is working towards involving the participation of youth and people with disabilities.

When ward committees are elected, women are encourage by females Councillors to stand for decision making positions. Each ward is represented by one Councillor and the Councillors attend ward committee meetings. Community members attend council meetings and are allowed to speak when requested by chairperson of council. Women who participate in the public consultations range between 0 and 25%.

Out of the total workforce, the council employs 64% men, 22% women and 14% youth. The council has four women on its management. The two accountants that are employed by the council are women, one for income and the other one for expenditure. The council is promoting women development in the council structures and is having equal employment opportunity for men and women.

The council provides three months maternity leave, but does not provide for paternity leave. The council has never had sexual harassment cases reported, and thus has no sexual harassment policies. There are provisions made for people living with disabilities, especially wheelchair users, to move around freely in and out of the council’s building.

Mariental Council has allocated budget to mainstream gender-related projects from 2015 and 2016.

Category Budget 2015 Budget 2016
Resources allocated to promoting gender equality in decision-making and public participation $150 000 $0
Resources allocated to gender-responsive local economic development $185 000 $375 000
Resources allocated to promoting gender/youth/PWD responsive projects on climate change $120 000 $150 000

Informal market places are available as part of the council’s economic development strategy. Men and women are having stands to run their businesses from. The council is in the process of renovating the old market place to cater for more people running informal businesses. The council’s budget is not gender base, but women are encouraged by female Councillors to apply for tenders to uproot themselves economically.

Family planning campaigns that the council is involved in, includes involvement by women, men, people with disabilities (PWD), and youth. Over the past years, considerable progress has been made in women’s sexual and reproductive health, including increases in contraceptive use, spurred by promoting access to sexual and reproductive health. In addition to that, health facilities gives access to both men and women equally, and distribute to them males and females condoms.

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