14 Nov 2013 15:30pm
WINDHOEK, 14 NOV (NAMPA) The Pan-African Womens Organisation (PAWO) has embarked on a project-financing exercise with Heads of Diplomatic Missions here to sponsor poverty-alleviation activities on the continent.
Speaking on the sidelines of a consultative breakfast meeting on Wednesday, the Executive Secretary of PAWO-Southern Africa Regional Office (SARO), Mildred Jantjies told Nampa that the organisation sees an urgency in coming up with workable solutions and engagements with international communities across the globe to provide assistance to women-headed projects in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region.
It should be a short-term solution, and women must then sustain themselves after five years of project implementation and co-operation with interested partners, she explained.
PAWO was established in 1962 in Dar Es Salam, Tanzania, one year before the formation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), now AU.
It was the first continental womens organisation.
One of the main aims of PAWO was to mobilize women to fight for their liberation, especially in countries which were still colonized at the time.
Today, it aims to ensure that it remains a relevant and strong voice of women in Africa and the world.
Next year, PAWO will host a regional PAWO Secretariat meeting and regional conference.
However, Jantjies said the PAWO head office located in Olympia should first open its doors before the two events can take place.
Renovations are continuing on the N.dollars 9 million-headquarters, which is scheduled to open its doors before the end of December 2013.
The head office would function for three more years here until 2016.
Member countries host the PAWO head office for a period of five years. However, Jantjies explained that due to the delay in the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between PAWO and the Namibian Government and the translation of documents from Portugese to English, the process was delayed for two years.
Soon after the envisaged regional meeting and conference, she will then engage in regional visits, not only to introduce herself, but also to assess the immediate needs of women and children, especially the girl-child.
She will also approach relevant institutions for interventions on areas indicated by women in each PAWO-SARO country.
Meanwhile, Jantjies will be on a mission with a delegation of 37 women and men to the Algeria Tindouft Refugee Camp in that country on a solidarity mission and humanitarian aid delivery.
The delegation is expected to leave on 04 December, and return to Namibia on 10 December.
PAWOs time has come to initiate an important and urgent campaign for the rights and role of women in Africa. There is an opportunity for womens organisations to participate in PAWO, and to campaign for women to exercise real power, she added.
PAWO has other regional headquarters in East Africa and Central Africa.
The Windhoek office will cater for 10 southern African countries including Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Angola, South Africa, Swaziland, Mozambique, Malawi and Lesotho.