Elizabeth Agatha Jaar – Namibia

Elizabeth Agatha Jaar – Namibia

Date: July 1, 2015
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I am a pre-school teacher at Tses. I was transferred from Keetmanshoop, the capital of the south, which is a bigger city with more infrastructure. Now I’m in a small village with lots of developmental problems and challenges. But I’m happy to work with children here. Teaching is an art, especially when one has to develop little ones at pre-school levels. To attend the Gender Links Namibia workshop on the Centres of Excellence for gender mainstreaming, I left my class with a teacher who was willing to look after them for the next four days. I deemed the workshop a good cause, because I could then plough back to my fellow teachers and children all the knowledge gained.

I have heard a lot about Gender Links on the radio and television, especially during the 16 days on gender based violence campaigns. There were different topics being addressed every day. Now in 2012, Centres of Excellence for gender mainstreaming in Local Authorities was facilitated here is Tses. It was a very lively experience attending the Gender Links Namibia workshop on cascading to other councils and villages. I consider myself very special for being invited by the council to attend this workshop. I felt empowered, and I got that self-confidence as a woman to face the realities of today’s challenging world, where women are marginalised to the point that they cannot excel in many domains. But the Gender Links-Namibia training sessions were an eye opener for many things in terms of how women can make a difference for themselves and for others in life.

I have had many journeys, but one is extra-ordinary. A journey full of advancements for women and men in various fields. One such field is how the council can empower women using a policy that speaks to the domestic economy of Tses. What I have learnt here from Gender Links is very important to me, as this knowledge has to be ploughed back to the community out there in our environment, be it at religious or educational projects in various fields.

Although budgeting and gender mainstreaming are new to me, the facilitator made sure that all were on board. Now I understand gender mainstreaming as the key weapon to fighting against the different issues and problems that we are facing in all levels, and I’m making sure it is integrated in all our systems.

This Gender Links Namibia workshop has produced seven wonders of the world, this time for me and the Villages of Tses. I was visualizing how these changes have affected my life. Today’s life and culture has changed into modern technologies. If we come and look first at the way we have been raised and socialized, and took everything seriously that our parents had taught us, you can see that there are vast differences today. Gender has come into play. Issues we faced in the past are now facing pressure to change mind sets and embrace gender as a tool for empowering both women and men.

If you look at today’s life circle, and why it has changed in such a dramatic way, it’s because everything starts at home, with how you are brought up in today’s life. Sometimes we just do things just to please others. But for me, change should be meaningful and realistic, and benefits should be realised.

Nowadays we really need to bring about change. There are so many issues we are facing such as alcohol abuse, drug abuse, poverty, climate change, HIV/Aids, poverty, lack of education, lack of awareness on issues of health and gender, and lack of communication. But in the near future, we will see a better life if we stand together and fight against things like discrimination.

I believe one should always strive for a better tomorrow. My vision for the future is that women and men must join hands to create a good and healthy family, where both play a positive role in society. Gender Links gives me a dream of coexistence, in the roles that ought to be played, making sure that gender based violence is an issue of the past. I have a dream that women will no longer be “chained” to the tree of violence and death. I fought for those dreams and want to see them realised through Gender Links, who will capacitate women regardless of their political affiliation. Another dream as a teacher is to help the girl children to achieve their goals one day. The dream of becoming a President of this country.

The most important thing is that one day, I want to see people of the grassroots, especially women, make use of the Gender Links dream of a balanced society, in which each one has a role, a positive role to play, and contribute equally to a better living standard for all.



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