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EDUCATION AND TRAINING ABOUT THE MAINTENANCE ACT
GENDER RESEARCH & ADVOCACY PROJECT

focus group

Women face many challenges in Namibia. Amongst these problems are the contribution of historical imbalances of power, the economic status of the country, and the high rate of gender-based violence. The role of the mother as the main caregiver is common in Namibia and in many of the cultures it is traditional for the mother to be the sole provider for the child. This can leave a significant burden on the mother.

According to the 2008 poverty report from the National Planning Commission, approximately 40% of people in Namibia are classified as poor or severely poor. When analysed by sex, a greater number of women than men are classed as both poor and severely poor (30.4% vs 25.8% and 15.1% vs 12.9%). Many of these households will be single-parent households, as it is estimated that only approximately 50% of people in Namibia marry. According to the last two reports of the Employment Equity Commission, women make up only about 15% of executive directors and just over one-quarter of senior managers  whilst they make up a large proportion of the unskilled labour force. This means that women generally earn lower salaries than men. These challenges can accumulate and result in many women facing financial challenges in trying to provide their children with a basic standard of living.

In 2003 a new Maintenance Act was brought into force, based in large part on research conducted by GR&AP. The Act replaced a 1963 law and made significant improvements to the maintenance system. Despite the implementation of this law, many people, particularly women continue to struggle to bring up their children. The Legal Assistance Centre has been aware of this issue for many years and has worked hard in an attempt to address some of the problems through education and research.

Education
GR&AP produced a Guide to the Maintenance Act and a shorted Summary of the Maintenance Act shortly after the new law came into force.  Since then, GR&AP has also produced a number of other simplified materials on maintenance:

 

 

 

 

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