Women Share Skills on Business

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By William J. Mbangula OSHAKATI – The Minister of Gender Equality and Child Welfare Marlene Mungunda says women need to have power and control over their own lives in order to contribute more meaningfully to the economic development and growth of the country. Officially opening a one-day conference of the Economist Businesswomen at Ongwediva on Thursday, the minister said women empowerment should not only be considered in terms of those serving in parliament, key government positions and parastatals but attention needs also to be focused on another level of decision-making in the private and personal capacity. “The Namibian government is working tirelessly in partnership with the private sector, NGOs, international organisations, community-based organisations, faith-based groups and the entire civil society to create an enabling environment for both men and women that will transform into gender equality. Moreover, a lot still needs to be done in order to achieve desired gender equality that will be enjoyed by our generation and preserved for the next generation to come.” She noted that equality and women empowerment as set out in the internationally agreed Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is crucial to the development of the country. “Newly elected women leaders give hope to women worldwide that from the highest level to the most personal, equality between women and men is a goal that can be achieved.” The conference was addressed by various speakers, among them UNICEF Representative Khin-Sandi Lwin who spoke on gender-based leadership development, Daniel Samaria from MetHealth who spoke on the importance of health, Elise Angula from the Law Society of Namibia on the Labour and Marriage Act and the 2005 businesswoman of the year Amalia Schmidt who spoke on: “Becoming the best you can”. The businesswomen conference, which was being hosted for the seventh time at Ongwediva, was founded by about 30 women (now more than 100 membership) with the aims to share expertise and skills which will ensure women’s success in industry and commerce. Said the marketing manager of the event Desere Lundon-Muller: “This conference will also help women increase their visibility and get them to be known in their industry and community.” Lundon-Muller urged businesses to fund the project because it is not for a select few but will serve all women by encouraging them to achieve personal development, management skills and create a network of support among themselves. “All the funds generated from the project will go towards the Economist Businesswomen Bursary which is available to finance female students in business related fields. Two women students have already been sponsored by the fund.”

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