Kaija Shililifa – Namibia

Kaija Shililifa – Namibia

Date: June 16, 2012
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Councillors Kaija Shililifa has a full-time job as the only woman station manager in the whole of Namibia. She works a full day that starts at 7:00 and ends at 16:30. The challenge that she faces as a councillor of the Tsumeb Municipality is that the municipality has the same working hours so the problem arises that when she has to do something for the municipality she has to do it in office hours which conflict with her work. While her boss has become supporting he sometimes doesn’t like it when she does council work.

She is also the mother of a four month old baby, a wife and she’s studying. “Its tough” she says, “You come home and you are frustrated. The municipal meetings are sometimes at two thirty and they finish at five thirty or six and you come home and it’s late.” Having meetings during working hours doesn’t really work for councillors who have jobs. “The best would be to have councillors from the community who do not have jobs and they can commit themselves to the council work because for someone who is working it is really difficult,” she says.

“We should be having more women in key ministries, as ministers and permanent secretaries. Women only serve as councillors but not as mayors or chairperson on portfolio committees – you don’t have power if you just sit there.”


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