06 Aug 2019 09:00am
WINDHOEK, 05 AUG (NAMPA) - The lack of financial support and skills in certain areas of the economy are challenges halting women from playing into economic growth in Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries.
In an interview with NAMPA on Monday, Pan African Womens Organisation (PAWO) Secretary General Pinky Kekana said two of the biggest barriers to partake in economic growth women face are the lack of financial support and resources for their initiatives.
If we speak about Agriculture for instance, we need certain inputs to become commercial agricultural farmers and those are some of the things that we want government to prioritise because in food security there are lots of jobs of which many of those that work the land are women, Kekana said.
Kekana added that many of our countries are starting to address land and ownership of which women are now allowed to be part of these discussions to become landowners but while that opportunity is created it should come with resources to support it for women.
The Secretary General is attending a two-day meeting where PAWO-Southern African Regional Office (SARO) secretariat assess the implementation of their programmes.
Concurring to Kekana, PAWO-SARO Executive Secretary Eunice Iipinge said women need to be educated and equipped with the skills to graduate from the informal sector of being a vendor to the formal sector where they partake in the market.
We (women) need more support for skills to be able to produce goods and be able to sell (it) in the market (formally), Iipinge added.
Iipinge further emphasised that women need the knowledge of export and import to sell their goods in other markets internationally as well as have input in trade negotiations to gain those and how to partake in tenders.
Nowadays as trade is done with technology. We need these skills to partake in these practices because women are the backbone of the economy if you look at the vendors selling goods on the streets, Iipinge also said.
PAWO-SARO comprises of representatives from Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.