The Minister of Gender Affairs and Child Welfare launching the Beyond Inequalities bookMr Michael Conteh, Programme CoodinatorGender Training & Research Programme (GTRP)

Contact GTRP

The Gender Training and Research Programme (GTRP) falls under the auspices of the Multidisciplinary Research and Consultancy Centre (MRCC) of the University of Namibia (UNAM). This program is aimed at addressing the need for institutionalized training and research on gender so as to lay the foundation for gender studies at the University of Namibia and to create gender awareness among Namibia's future generations.

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Gender Training and Research Programme @ UNAMNamibian FlagIntroduction

The GTRP is an educational, research and training programme within the Multi-disciplinary Research and Consultancy Centre (MRCC) at the University of Namibia. The MRC was established in 1993 to enable UNAM to serve the people of Namibia. The mission of the MRCC is to "promote, conduct, and coordinate research; to provide consultancy, advisory, and other services to the community; to foster, in collaboration with UNAM's Faculties, national and international NGOs, line Ministries and relevant other Centres, the transmission of the accumulated body of knowledge through teaching and research". 

Eunice Iipinge speaks to an assembly of womenMs Eunice Iipinge is an adjunct research fellow and the previous coordinator of the GTRP. Ms Iipinge has extensive research experience in gender issues and has conducted training for high level personnel in government, NGOs and the private sector. Ms Iipinge is responsible for coordinating research and writing activities, giving input into the analysis of gender sensitive issues and reviewing of all final documents.

Michael Conteh, a researcher at the GTRPMr Michael Conteh is the coordinator for the GTRP. Mr Conteh has recently received his Master of Arts in Development Studies with specialization in Women, Gender and Development from the Institute of Social Studies, Graduate School of Development Studies. He has extensive experience conducting research on gender issues in Namibia. In addition, he is responsible for coordinating training programs and workshops, attending training workshops and conferences, and participating in research and publications.

Dr. Debie LeBeau and Michael Conteh enjoying a light moment togetherDr. Debie LeBeau Spence has been a senior researcher with the GTRP and, although she has recently relocated back to the Americas, she continues to be a resource person for the GTRP. Dr. LeBeau has been involved in several research and publication activities with the GTRP, including their publication series and the Beyond Inequalities publication series discussed below. She has also assisted in researching such various gender related topics as women's property and inheritance rights, as well as gender roles and HIV prevention.

Historical Background

Since 1995 the GTRP has carried out numerous gender-related training programmes aimed at developing gender awareness at the local, regional and national levels. The GTRP has held several workshops on topics such as Women’s Empowerment programmes, Gender Perspective in Law and Violence, Gender Based Violence, Gender and Food Security Gender Research Methodology, gender and disability and gender and HIV and AIDS. The GTRP has also carried out several research projects such as the National Gender Survey (1997-98) and Beyond Inequalities: Women in Namibia (1996-97 & 2005), as well as research on initiation rites in the Kavango (1998-99), commercial sex workers in Walvis Bay (2000) and women's property and inheritance rights (2001-05). The GTRP has also been and continues to be instrumental in creating and raising awareness on national radio to educate and sensitise the public on the SADC protocol on Gender and Development, and also developed specially designed programs on gender and HIV and AIDS, research with emphasis on school learners and the general public at large.

Beyond Inequalities 2005 by Eunice Iipinge and Debie LeBeauBeyond Inequalities by Eunice Iipinge and Debie LeBeauBeyond Inequalities Series

Beyond Inequalities 2005: Women in Namibia by Eunice Iipinge & Debie LeBeau, with contributions by Grant J. Spence, Michael Conteh, Sayumi Yamakawa, Edith Dima and Andrew Niikondo

Click here to go to the SARDC's site for a full copy of this text

Beyond Inequalities: Women in Namibia (1997) by Eunice Iipinge & Debie LeBeau

Click here to go to the SARDC's site for a full copy of this text

This research conducted for the SARDC as part of a book series project on the social status of women in southern Africa. The Beyond Inequalities: Women in Namibia book was first published through the GTRP and SARDC in 1997 and was revised for publication in 2004/2005. 

Of specific note is the Second National Development Plan (NDP2): 2001/2002 - 2005/2006, the government's national review of sectoral developments and planning instrument, which lists the Beyond Inequalities book as one of only two national reference documents produced for the years 1995/1996-1999/2000.

These documents present data on a selection of gender characteristics and issues. They summarize information relating to the position of women from the analytical and strategic framework of autonomy, its principal element being physical, economic, political and socio-cultural. 

Publication Series

The National Gender Study: Volume I  by  Eunice Iipinge, F.A. Phiri and A.F. NjabiliThe National Gender Study: Volume  II by  Eunice Iipinge, F.A. Phiri and A.F. NjabiliWomen's Property and Inheritance Rights in Namibia by Debie LeBeau, Eunice Iipinge and Michael ContehTowards the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour in Namibia by Dr Debie LeBeau with Dawie Bosch, Debbie Budlender, Annalize ForuieStructural Conditions for the Progression of the HIV/AIDS Pandemic in Namibia by Dr Debie LeBeau

The National Gender Study: Volume I & Volume II by Eunice Iipinge, F.A. Phiri and A.F. Njabili
This study was the first nationwide gender study in Namibia and focused on perceptions of the public on gender issues. The study shows that people are born female and male, but learn girl-roles and boy-roles as they grow into women and men. People are taught culturally defined gender specific behaviors and attitudes, role activities and how they should relate to each other. This learned behavior is what makes up their identity and determines their gendered roles throughout their lives.

Women's Property and Inheritance Rights in Namibia by Debie LeBeau, Eunice Iipinge and Michael Conteh
This five region nationwide study on women's property and inheritance rights examines social-psychological forces that function to maintain women's lower social and economic position vis-à-vis men through the manipulation of material culture. The research found that one of the challenges faced by women in contemporary Namibian society is women's unequal access vis-à-vis men to property, which in turn limits women's ability to strive for gender equality within both their personal and social spheres of life. The lack of ability to manipulate property through the use, ownership and disposition of property limits women's economic choices and causes women to be economically dependent on men. The findings from this research have been utilized by government and policy makers to examine social and cultural contributing factors when drafting laws to protect women's rights to property. This was a collaborative project between the Department of Sociology, the GTRP at the University of Namibia (UNAM) and the Legal Assistance Centre (LAC), with funding from USAID

Dr Debie LeBeau in newspaper article about GTRP researchStructural Conditions for the Progression of the HIV/AIDS Pandemic in Namibia
Read more about this publication

Towards the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour in Namibia
Read more about this publication

Telling Their Stories: Commercial Sex Workers in Walvis Bay by GTRP"Telling Their Stories": Commercial Sex Workers in Walvis Bay by the GTRP/UNAM
This is one of the first Namibian research projects on sex workers in Namibia. The research was conducted with sex workers from Walvis Bay, the main fishing port in Namibia. The stories and quotes, given directly in the sex workers' own words gives voice to those who are socially and economically marginalized in Namibian society and sheds light on the traumas of being a sex worker in an era of HIV/AIDS.

Gender & Development by Eunice Iipinge and Marlene WilliamsGender & Development by Eunice Iipinge and Marlene Williams
This publication presents a series of papers given at a national workshop on gender and development issues in Namibia. Topical areas are diverse, as are the authors of the papers. This publication gives the reader a view into contemporary issues surrounding gender in Namibia.

Research Focus

Gender and HIV and AIDS Research

Nambia’s Vision 2030 highlights the HIV and AIDS epidemic as one of the most serious threats facing the country. The epidemic is affecting health, livelihoods, economic perspectives, demographic futures as well as many individual lives. HIV has reduced life expectancy in Namibia significantly, and has left many families economically vulnerable. More than 25 years into the AIDs epidemic, gender inequality and unequal power relations between and among women and men continue to be major drivers of the HIV transmission. Gender, defined as an array of societal beliefs, norms, customs and practices that define masculine and feminine attributes and behaviour, plays an integral part in determining an individual’s vulnerability to infection, his or her ability to access care, support or treatment and the ability to cope when affected or infected. Gender inequality and harmful gender norms are not only associated with the spread of HIV but also with its consequences.

The gender dynamics driving the HIV and AIDS pandemic are a stark reminder that scientific research, leadership and commitment to gender equality, women’s empowerment and the protection of women’s human rights have not kept pace with national response, international declarations and convention. 

Research Focus: 

• Few current HIV prevention programmes address the needs of the choice-disabled, those who by reason of GBV are unable to make or to implement their prevention choices. This could be tagged onto other research asking for example, how to increase the relevance of condom promotion or male circumcision for the choice disabled.

• The interaction between prevention initiatives and perpetrators. It is possible that perpetrators understanding better their own HIV risks could help motivate a reduction in sexual violence

Other Research Themes:

1. Gender and Law 

2. Gender HIV and AIDs and Human Rights

3. HIV and AIDs and Sex Workers

4. Gender-based Violence

5. Sexuality and Reproductive Health

6. Gender and  Governance

Contact the GTRP
For further information and copies of GTRP publications relating to development in Africa contact:

Email:Mr. Michael Conteh, Coordinator (GTRP). Tel: +264-61- 206-3951 Fax: +264-61-206-3268/3684

Snail Mail:
Michael Conteh
Gender Training and Research Programme
Private Bag 13301
Mandune Ndemufayo Ave.
Pioneerspark, Windhoek, Namibia

Click here to go to the GTRP at UNAM site

This page last updated October 12, 2009
© GRTP & D LeBeau 2009