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Emma Theofilus, the 23-Year-Old Deputy Minister Breaking Glass Ceilings for Young Women in Politics

According to statistics from UN Women, today, only 24.3 per cent of all national parliamentarians are women, a slow increase from 11.3 per cent in 1995. As of June 2019, 11 women were serving as Head of State and 12 were serving as Head of Government. Rwanda has the highest number of women parliamentarians worldwide, where, women have won 61.3 per cent of seats in the lower house.

Globally, there are 27 States in which women account for less than 10 per cent of parliamentarians in single or lower houses, as of February 2019, including 3 chambers with no women at all.

It is therefore refreshing to see young women of African origin breaking barriers and opening frontiers for women in politics.

Emma Theofilus, a 23-year-old law graduate was recently appointed by President Hage Geingob as the Deputy Minister of Information and Technology in Namibia.

The 23-year is not just her country’s youngest female deputy minister of state but the youngest in Southern Africa.

She is also representing her constituents in parliament again as the youngest ever.

This pace setter who was sworn into office last week said “I do not think I am special, I do not think I am inexperienced, and I do not think being young or female has anything to do with my appointment.”

“Anything I set myself to and any environment I want to work into, I can do it; so the issue of inexperience does not hold any water,” she is quoted as saying by the Namibian news portal.

Theofilus also revealed that “the minister, being the head and political appointee, and the deputy minister allows the whole ministerial position to function.”

It is a supporting role, just like any law has supporting regulations to allow it to function.

“I do not think being a deputy minister is a role that cannot be brought to life, the person should know what they have planned for that position and anybody can do it. It is not an insignificant role,” she added.

On her position as a member of parliament she said “As a former debater and law graduate, you can expect robust debates in parliament. As long as I have the support and guidance, I do not think I would go wrong. I will bank on the experience I have, but I am also willing to take advice and guidance from those that have been there before me.”

Theofilus appointment is expected to inspire other young female politicians across Africa.

We excited to see her thrive and break more barriers for women in her community. We cannot wait to see the next generation of Emma Theofilus’ who would join her in office.

Source: News Admire


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