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Visiting the Namibia YCW: A Fight for Better Living Conditions PDF Print E-mail

The Panaf coordinator describes the problems faced by young women

 

altOn behalf of the African Commission and the IYCW-PANAF coordination, James Denteh visited the Namibia YCW from 15th to 25th October. The main objective of this visit was to support the national movement in the review of the action, coordination and finances and to strengthen the link between their local/national actions and the continental and international campaign on “Just Work and Dignified Life for all Young Workers”.

 

One of the main problems faced by young women in Namibia is school dropout caused by early pregnancy and childbirth.

 

They are young women between 15 and 28 years old, living in remote areas, in precarious and poor conditions. As most parents cannot afford education for their children, the only option is to drop out of school and live their own ways.

 

Many young girls and women are trapped at the nightclubs, video centres and other fun activities that make them happy. The worst is that men take advantage of their problems. Most of these young girls give birth without knowing their child’s father. Most single mothers face a difficult situation in their families. Many suffer from stress and are forced to live outside their home in an inhuman situation.

 

The Namibia YCW is organizing those girls and reflecting about their situation to give them strength and find a solution in the group. The YCW educates young women about the dangers of free sex in order to eliminate the high rate of pregnancies in the community.

 

Some schools were visited during the visit. As part of the awareness campaign, the women leaders have been going round the schools and given the opportunity to talk to the young students.

 

Thanks to the review of life among those young women that enlightens their lives in the community, they are now seen as a reference for the other young girls in the community.

 

The action taken is important because teenage pregnancy is a big problem in Africa. For example, statistics show that an estimated 182,000 South African teenagers become pregnant each year and teenage mothers account for 36% of maternal deaths every year. Not long ago, Rwanda's education minister presented a report showing that 600 girls in Rwanda had left school because of abuse last year, and 500 because they were pregnant.

 

This problem is global and the IYCW is aware of it. Unfortunately in most cases, that situation has seriously affected the young women’s lives forever, in particular the transition between school and work. Women in this situation usually assume the most precarious working conditions with hardly any possibility to get out of poverty.

 

The local action of the Namibia YCW is clearly linked to the IYCW international campaign, one topic of which is gender equality… The IYCW believes that gender inequality – the restrictions placed on women’s choices, opportunities and participation – has direct and often malign consequences for women’s health and education, and for their social, economic, and political participation. Our international campaign promotes the involvement of young women in decision-making processes in all places and levels in society.

 

At the grassroots of the movement, the YCW base groups are continuing the struggle to improve young women’s living conditions and to promote gender equality for all in society.

 

All these actions in favour of gender equality are important and deserve to be highlighted, in particular in this month of November as we are celebrating the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

 
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