WAD’s Shinedima to break new ground
Women’s Action for Development’s (WAD) first male executive director, Salatiel Shinedima, says women’s issues are in fact men’s issues.
“You cannot address women without engaging men. Men are part and parcel, because relationships are between men and women, and if there is no understanding of each other’s issues, the relationships are likely to fail,” Shinedima said in an interview with Namibian Sun.
He said WAD is revising its strategies in order to reach out to men and create a platform that will bring them on board.
His thrust is to create a platform for men where they are free to share the challenges in the relationships they are in.
Shinedima took over as executive director recently after the retirement of Veronica de Klerk., who headed the organisation for the past for 20 years.
WAD is involved in empowering women and offers training to unemployed youth, in a bid to uplift communities.
Shinedima said currently the organisation does not offer counselling services, but it will look at the issues brought forward and refer people in need to counsellors.
He said men should not feel left out, because gender equality means balancing the scale to benefit both men and women.
He said his appointment came about because there was a need to have a man advancing men’s concerns.
“How about having a man speaking from a men’s perspective to encourage fellow men to express their views on social issues?” he asked.
Shinedima stressed the inclusion of men does not mean the name of the organisation will change from WAD to MAD (Men’s Action for Development). He said women will remain at the core of the organisation’s business.
“Even if we work with men, it’s in the interest of women and men as well,” he added.
He called on men to partake in their campaigns, because they are at “the receiving end”.
“We are labelled murderers. Men against violence should come out. We have seen enough tears and bloodshed. If we don’t get involved, our generation will be blamed for the violence that will take place in the future generations,” he said.
Revealing his short-term plan for WAD, Shinedima said the organisation is planning to explore using the social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp, since many Namibians use them.
These will be used to engage women and men to discuss various pertinent topics.
He said the organisation will continue tackling issues such as alcohol abuse, teenage pregnancy, baby dumping and other social evils dogging society.
WINDHOEK SELMA IKELA