Namibia
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Women advocate for gender equality in energy sector

Women empowerment ambassadors – Justicia Shipena, a journalist and environmental enthusiast, and Selma Iyambo, a media student and sexual reproductive health and rights activist – recently returned from the second Women Energise Women conference held in Munich, Germany.

The conference, centred around accelerating women empowerment and visibility in the energy sector, provided a platform for global experts, activists and ambassadors to share insights and discuss the importance of gender equality in the industry.

Shipena, known for her dedication on environmental causes and gender equality, expressed her enthusiasm as a Women Energize Women ambassador.

“Being appointed as a Women Energize Women ambassador is a great honour and a significant responsibility,” she says. “It means I have been recognised for my potential to promote and support women’s empowerment and gender equality in the energy sector.”

Shipena sees her role as an opportunity to inspire and empower women while addressing the challenges they face.

“This appointment enhances my credibility as an advocate for women’s empowerment and environmental matters,” she says. “It allows me to contribute to important conversations and initiatives surrounding gender equality in the sector.”

During the conference, Shipena shared her vision for Namibia, emphasising the need to address gender inequality in the just energy transition and provide equal opportunities for all women. She highlighted the importance of promoting gender diversity and inclusivity in decision-making processes related to the energy transition, emphasizing the significance of active participation of women. “By involving women in clean energy innovation solutions, we can provide high-skilled job opportunities, empower women, and contribute to sustainable development.”

Iyambo, another Women Energize Women ambassador, made her presence known through an inspiring Instagram post capturing the essence of their visit. She expressed her thoughts on the conference and the importance of addressing gender norms and traditions that hinder women’s access to efficient energy sources, particularly in rural communities.

In her Instagram caption, Iyambo expressed her commitment to raising awareness about women’s participation in the energy sector, connecting women with opportunities, and supporting women-led businesses. She said, “I am excited to collaborate with other ambassadors from around the world to create a more equitable energy future,” added.

Collaborating and networking with other ambassadors and organisations, Shipena and Iyambo engaged in discussions to explore potential partnerships and initiatives that promote inclusivity and diversity within the energy sector. Their dedication to fostering greater representation of women in leadership roles and ensuring improved access to clean energy for marginalised communities has been a driving force throughout their involvement with Women Energize Women.

Reflecting on their experiences at the conference, Shipena acknowledged the importance of addressing gender biases, stereotypes,and systemic barriers that hinder women’s progress in the energy sector.

“We have learned about strategies to promote and support women’s advancement into decision-making positions, encouraging greater representation. Collaborating and networking with other organisations and individuals working towards women’s empowerment has also been invaluable,” she said.

Together, Shipena and Iyambo envision a future where the Women Energize Women campaign in Namibia creates a more inclusive and equitable energy sector. Through their efforts as ambassadors, they strive to promote gender equality, empower women, and create a more inclusive and equitable energy sector in Namibia and beyond.

– Afterbreak Magazine (www.afterbreakmag.com)