Women’s Action for Development (WAD) Co-founder and former Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Veronica De Klerk, has called on women to stand up and take over high positions and save Namibia from ‘incompetent’ men in these positions.
Speaking at the 9th Women Summit 2015, De Klerk said that it is high time that women should start taking over jobs that dozens of men in the Government and the Private Sector have messed up through incompetence, slackness or just blatant corruption.
“You as mothers, will realize that every cent which is lost for the state through corruption could have benefited the country, as well as yourself and your children,” she said, adding that corrupt officials steal the bread out of the mouths of children.
However, De Klerk said that she could not generalize and say that all men in high office are inefficient and corrupt as there are some honest men.
“What I, however, wish to say with confidence is that there are numerous women out there who will deliver equally competent and honest work in high office both in the public and private sectors, if only given the opportunity,” De Klerk said.
She emphasized that men should not expect women to be capable and experienced by saying that plenty of men have started without a title, lacked knowledge and experience in their portfolios and have made numerous mistakes along the way.
De Klerk further made reference to fishing, agriculture, mining and tourism industries, saying that women are underprivileged in these sectors.
“These have been profitable industries which have been dominated by men for many years,” she said, adding that it is possible for women to make inroads into these the fishing, agriculture, mining and tourism industries.
“Gone are the days when women sat back and saw only men occupying those positions of prominence. Gone are the days when women had to be thankfully satisfied with the crumbs from the tables of men,” she said.
She said that women should not rely on Affirmative Action (AA) appointments, as AA appointees often fail to deliver results expected of them.
“Women should strive to get out there on their own strength and be proud to be worthy occupiers of such positions of power and always remember to look out for other women and girls who aspire to reach to the top,” she added.
De Klerk put emphasis on price hikes, saying that these make living unbearable because it does not go hand-in-hand with improved salaries of bread-winners, and thus leads to poverty and hunger.
She said that Namibian businesses suffer from importing goods, blocking the advancement of informal women entrepreneurs in the country. She added that Namibia imports more than they export to other countries and that this is wretched as it shows that Namibia has little to offer.
“Needless to say, the unenviable situation of employed youth people can be improved, if only the private sector would put an end to importing articles which can be locally produced by the unemployed locals to the required standard,” she said.
De Klerk encouraged women to hold deliberations with Ministries, especially the Ministry of Trade and Industry in the bid to halt the high imports in Namibia.
“With the realization of vision 2030 merely 15 years away, we are still stubbornly denying the local workforce job opportunities and income and in the process, aggravating unemployment and poverty in the country,” she added.
She further said that to ensure that corruption by officials and contractors who perform work for Ministries does not goes unnoticed, it is crucial for women to familiarize themselves with laws in the country.