Womanomics as a word is too difficult to pronounce and for some even too foreign to understand. However, for the conceivers the word simply means – Girl child empowerment! ONTAMETSE SUGAR reports
Following the successful launch of the Womanomics Africa last week, the Project Director Lorato Kwelagobe said they are determined to make sure that the girl child succeeds the same way the boy child succeeds. According to her, a lot has to be done to change the girl child’s mind-set for them to know that they can be at par with their male counterparts.
Kwelagobe is a young lady who oozes confidence and drive; she insists she is determined to make impact not only in Batswana, but rather the African girl child, that is why the term Womanomics Africa. The launch which took place last week was graced by some of the trailblazers on issues regarding women in the country like Imelda Molokomme, who boldly said instead of creating challenges women need to focus more on defying them.
Minister of Health Dorcas Makgato officiated at the launch and hailed the initiative as being very close to her heart since her ministry deals with issues critical to women like that of maternal care.
Kwelagobe said since it is not a one-person show they have made sure that they include several stakeholders that deals with the girl child like the United Nations. She said the programme has a five-year strategy dubbed ‘Africa with No Limits’ with the aim to equip the girls with the knowledge, skills, resources, and power to determine their own destiny. She highlighted it is a big project that is all-encompassing because they are looking at the next 20 years.
She said they have put into consideration that they live in a global village where girls are now faced with different challenges that people back then didn’t face. She said the world is a very competitive one for the girl child and that is why they will work with all different sectors in order to share ideas. “This is not our own discussions only; they have to be in simulation with other countries,” she said. She recognised that the government has paved the way though it is not enough.
In their strategy they are looking at issues that can bring awareness in the education of the girl child because that brings about confidence and decision making skills from a very young age. She said with empowerment young people can definitely shape their future and break from the mind-set that there is work waiting for them somewhere after finishing at university. According to Kwelagobe, the girl-child shouldn’t think just about driving a car anymore but about inventing a car. “This project is aimed at making visionaries, which is why the mission is ‘to change the mind-set, to change the livelihood of children and women; basically the girl child,” she said.
She said women have made impact in the male dominated industries, becoming successful in their own way. “Women are now making impact in so many different ways, and the project will also celebrate those Batswana women as the pillar of the society,” she said. Kwelagobe said as Womanomics they will make sure that a girl-child passes knowledge to the other one on generations to come. She said there are so many dynamics to the project, and experts and women activists will be asked to give their ideas, people from the private sector, the community and even the embassies which will give them a balance of parties involved.
She said the whole idea was inspired by the fact that while men used to go to the mines, women stayed behind, built the home and tilled the ground. She referred to that as the most interesting spirit that they captured in history because women, though unappreciated sometimes, have always been making an impact. She said they have designed a product that anyone can fit in where they will bridge the gap even between the children in the private schools and those in public schools. She added they are not promising wonders but they will do all they can and put so much energy into this.