An analysis of women representation in the security sector: A case study of the Namibian Defence Force

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University of Namibia
The Constitution of The Republic of Namibia Article 10 guarantees equality before the law and the right to non-discrimination on the basis of sex. Therefore, the Namibian government through an Act of Parliament devoted all government institutions, Namibian Defence Force (NDF) included, to ensure equal opportunities of men and women in appointment to decision-making positions as well as equality of voices in committees dealing with security matters. Since the establishment of NDF in 1990, female appointment has been moving very slow. While women constituted the majority in the country, they are inadequately represented in the NDF, especially in decision-making structures to effect critical policy changes. Thus, the main objective of this study is to analyze women's representation in the NDF: to determine how gender and culture influence women military perceptions; to evaluate the opportunities and challenges encountered by women in the NDF towards training, appointment and promotion to strategic positions; and to investigate women perceptions on representation in the NDF. The study applies qualitative method and exploratory research design to enable the study to secure qualitative information from the respondents, and allow participants to express their views and opinions. The sample size of 120 members is drawn from the NDF target population. Purposeful sampling techniques is used to sample 30 members from the population as key informants from Defence Head Quarters (DHQs), and 90 are selected randomly from all three arms of services. The study found that, if given a chance, females can play a crucial role and can do what their male counter part can do. The study therefore recommended that, education and training programs concerning equal opportunities and affirmative action needs to be employed in NDF.
A thesis submitted in partial fuflilment of the requirements for the award of the Degree of Master of Arts in Security and Strategic Studies
Women representation