Earlier this month the Namibian Correctional Service released information that it is calling up a total of 245 youths to report themselves for training at the Lucius S Mahoto Correctional Service Training College on 27-28 February 2023.

Of the 245 candidates, only 57 are females, which is a 23% of the total candidates called up across the country.

Most regions have as many as two women in the group of those called up.

Only two ladies are on the list for the 13 candidates from //Kharas Region, while Hardap Region also has two ladies in a group of 16 candidates.

Zambezi Region has two females in a group of eight candidates called up. Omaheke also has two ladies in a group of seven candidates. Kunene Region also has two ladies in a group of eight candidates called up.

Regions with more than five young women called up are such as Omusati, Kavango East, Oshana, Oshikoto, and Ohangwena.

With the most ladies is Khomas Region with 21 ladies in a group of 57 candidates called up.

When asked for comment, Namibia Correctional Service spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Salmi Hangula said that when the advert went out there was no quota given to any gender.

“So the idea was to give everybody a fair chance, and if more males qualified than females that’s what we get. Because you remember for males, age 18 to 25, it was 7 minutes 49 seconds for the 2.4 kilometres,” Hangula said.

“And for women the same age it was 9 minutes 59 seconds. So everybody that met the minimum requirement proceeded to the written test, and then proceeded to the verbal interviews.

“So the best candidates came out. There were no quotas given to any gender. As long as you met the minimum requirement, you were on top of your list.”

Hangula said further that she did not have information about what made a lot of ladies to fail, whether it was the physical fitness test, written test or verbal interviews.

“But what I can tell you is that it was fairness [at play]. There was no quota given to any gender. It was just the requirements that were given to all the candidates equally.”

She added: “Determining fairness in the final result would require that we actually see who applied more. If we look at the list and we determine okay maybe more men applied or more women applied, then we need to reanalyze the statistics to make sure that we answer that question fairly.

“Right now I really don’t have those statistics.

“That is why I am saying if you want those statistics especially the percentages or the number of people that applied then you need to give me time to go to the HR and get that information for you.”

Although Hangula asked for questions to be emailed to her so that she may justify her response with necessary statistics, for close to two weeks she did not provide the statistics.

In the photo: Youths being tested for their physical fitness and stamina before joining the correctional service.