Maria da Conceicao Lourence – Namibia

Maria da Conceicao Lourence – Namibia

Date: May 29, 2012
  • SHARE:

My most memorable experience with Gender Links was when I got to attend a drafting of a policy on care work. Many countries were being represented and I was standing for Namibia. My country has a policy on care work and I was able to report on how this had been formulated in Namibia. This meeting was part of the GEMSA baseline study on care work. This was a very informative meeting and I was able to see how others were coming up with their policies and what their policies entailed.

I live in Otavi, a town in the Otjozondjupa region. I was a politician before I left to work in the civil society. I’ve been working in the field of gender equality and have been building the capacity of women in terms of women’s empowerment and leadership skills and women’s rights, and been doing campaigns to raise awareness on the above issues. I created the Namibia Women’s Lobby Group. Although I’ve had trouble in terms of funding, I have managed to keep my organisation afloat by funds from UNDP and UNESCO.

At the Namibia in country summit, I presented on care work and how elderly people are carrying the brunt of caring for the sick. Working with Gender Links has helped me to understand issues around GBV. I have been able to implement programmes that seek to raise awareness on GBV. I have gained more experience and knowledge through what I have learnt through Gender Links and I have matured overtime. I have gotten to understand so many concepts around gender that I can apply in my personal life. Even at times I invite my husband to come and listen and take part in the activities held by Gender Links in Namibia because the knowledge and skills I have I would also love others to experience, starting from my own family. I have also seen an improvement in his understanding of issues around gender.

The extent to which Gender Links has contributed to the change I see around can not be measured. There are so many things that it has done for different people coming from different fields of life. For me I can now train women on gender concepts using what I have learnt. I was trained on cyber dialogue and that was most exciting as we were able to discuss with people from different parts of Southern Africa. That engagement was most enlightening.

I find now that as I share information with other women, dialogue really opens up. The women I have talked to do not know the projects that the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare in my country are doing, or what policies they have in place that will benefit women. This lack of knowledge puts women at a disadvantage because they are not aware of measures that are in place for them so they keep suffering in silence. This also leaves women open to manipulation as they do not know that is their right to take up certain initiatives which will enable them progress. I am grateful to Gender Links for the values and understanding that I have gained over the years as I’ve interacted with Gender Links.


Comment on Maria da Conceicao Lourence – Namibia

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *