• September 22nd, 2019

Gender empowers communities in Omaheke


Hileni Mwandingi

GOBABIS – The Minister of Gender Equality and Child Welfare Doreen Sioka last Thursday handed over income-generating activities (IGAs) material and equipment to 12 beneficiaries in Omaheke Region at a ceremony at the women center.

 Speaking during the ceremony, Sioka said as part of its mandate, gender equality and child welfare manages the IGA programme aimed at contributing to the socio-economic empowerment of needy communities by providing start-up materials and equipment, complemented by basic training in business management.  It therefore encourages communities, especially women, to participate in the programme in order to curb unemployment.  Sioka said the basic training in business management is intended to capacitate and equip the IGA beneficiaries with skills on how to manage their projects efficiently and make profits. “The ministry strongly believes if IGA beneficiaries manage their businesses profitably they will be earning income, improve their livelihoods and reduce poverty,” she stated. The ministry also partnered with UN Women and De Beers Group in a programme called Acceleration of Women-Owned Micro-Enterprises (AWOME) launched last year and has developed six sets of manuals that are being used to train women in different areas of business such as planning, marketing, costing, stock control, record-keeping and productivity. She added that the manuals have proven to be relevant to small business management. At the same occasion, Sioka also handed over sewing machines that were donated by All China Women Federation (ACWF) to the women in Namibia.  The ministry of gender decided to distribute these machines to the community empowerment centers (CECs) countrywide, to be used in training of more women in tailoring and fashion design.

Sioka urged the beneficiaries to work hard for their IGAs to flourish and improve their own lives as well as of others. She further urged them to guard the equipment against vandalism, theft and malicious damage so that they can last and continue to serve the beneficiaries in the future. 

She cautioned tht the ministry has the right to repossess these items should they be underutilised. 
“I wish to remind all beneficiaries that the equipment remains the property of beneficiaries provided they are being used optimally, but if the ministry finds that they are lying idle and not used, the ministry has the right to repossess them, and give them to the people who will use them better,” asserted the gender equality and child welfare minister.

The material and equipment handed over cost N$169 552, distributed equally in all seven constituencies. 
Before handing over the equipment, Sioka addressed the Council of Traditional Leaders where she emphasised the role of traditional leaders in the elimination of negative cultural practices that perpetuate GBV. 

She urges traditional leaders to ensure the provision of safety and security for their subjects. “You are the shield of your communities, which is why you are expected to provide unaverred leadership for help-seeking people experiencing or at risk of experiencing GBV.”


Staff Reporter
2019-08-28 07:30:38 25 days ago

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