10 Jun 2015 10:40am
WINDHOEK, 10 JUNE (NAMPA) - Apart from poverty and unemployment, there is a lack of self-confidence, pride, and a sense of self-value amongst Namibian women, Former Women's Action Development (WAD) Executive Director Veronica De Klerk has said.
De Klerk made these remarks on Tuesday during the two-day annual 'Leadership for Women Development' conference underway in the capital.
She said through her work in the rural areas of the country over the past 20 years, many women have demonstrated a lack of self-value, which has inhibited their growth and interaction in society.
De Klerk said privileged women in leadership positions have the ideal opportunity to work in unison, for the eradication of 'cultural baggage.'
Women leaders, who have been more exposed, should therefore be catalyst to bring about change on that front and to bring other marginalised women into the mainstream of the economy, she said.
It would therefore be 'selfish' and not in the interest of the promotion of the cause for womens emancipation if those who have made it up the ladder fail to 'send the elevator back down' for others to be raised to higher levels in society.
It is therefore incumbent upon the present generation of women leaders to start building on the next generation to be worthy successors and be able to serve the nation, she stressed.
De Klerk noted that she has experienced the extremes to which women are prepared to risk their lives for the sake of their children.
She however said that in order for one to be a strong women leader and inspirational to others, you should have the self-confidence.
A women leader should be able to influence people to the extent that people would want to listen to her, to learn from her and read about her, she said, adding that leaders must live by what they say, otherwise people will be suspicious of them and not want to follow them.
She said the time has come for women to strengthen their aspirations and broaden their horizons by getting into positions of decision-making.
Women should never undo the role which they can and should fulfil in our communities by not undermining and pulling one another down because they will be weakening themselves, she advised.
The 'Leadership for Women Development' conference was launched last year to explore opportunities for women in business, bridge the gap between traditional beliefs and womens economic development, and to look at ways to attain gender equality.
Speakers lined up at the conference include the recently appointed Namibia Law Reform Chairperson, Yvonne Dausab.