LÜDERITZ – Woman in Lüderitz were empowered during the 3rd Annual Mayoral Woman Empowerment Conference held at a Lüderitz hotel on Thursday night.
“My office is of the opinion that the need for women’s empowerment agenda has to be based on what women want. Therefore, I encourage all women here tonight to build on the positives and comparative advantages obtained from this gathering. I pray and urge all women to participate with the sole intent to shape their [lives as] drivers [of] environments; be it at home, respective workplaces, worshipping places and political get-togethers,” stated Lüderitz Mayor Mukapuli.
The annual conference was held under the theme “Our Woman our Treasure”. Mukapuli explained the importance of the Annual Mayoral Women’s Conference as a platform purposefully designed to provide space for the exchange of experiences, common challenges, successful strategies, economic advocacy – thus the importance of the chosen topics. She further said she hopes that this event will produce specific and tangible deliverables that would give women power for more voices and choices. She also believed and trusts that the success of this noteworthy event would be judged and attributed based on women’s future actionable outcomes.
“It is important to note that while significant progress has been made in promoting women’s empowerment nationally, in terms of conventions and frameworks, we must take into account that there is still a huge gap pertaining to laws and policies around women’s related matters. It is, therefore, imperative that people in power recognise the strategic and multi-dimensional role of women in society and to start treating women in order to penetrate sectors that have been identified as growth sectors such as tourism, construction and maritime where women have minimal participation and this can only be achieved if women get the required support, training and mentoring,” said Mukapuli.
Mukapuli urged all women to move with unity of purpose across the political, religious, health and business segment on matters that concerned them.
Charity Nkalamo, a nurse at Lüderitz State Hospital, business owner Bridget Dundee, Group Service Manager at FNB of Namibia Erica Shasha Mulondo and Optometrist Linea Shaetonhodi were the successful women who addressed this year’s third Mayoral Women’s Empowerment Conference.
In her speech, Shaetonhodi stated that an event such as this one does not only promote tourism and development, but helps to connect people culturally, socially and build networks, which is vital in the business fraternity.
Shaetonhodi stated that men are still seen as the traditional profile of a successful entrepreneur, despite a great deal of legislation surrounding women’s rights in multiple Africa countries and a push to support women in business, women still face societal constraints that hinder their business potential.
“I think in the cases where entrepreneurial ambition is still encouraged, the best way is for the women to follow their dreams and pay a deaf ear to naysayers. Turn your passion into power, find something you love doing and it will power your success helping you stay positive and persistent,” said Shaetonhodi.