Namibia paid special attention to gender equality and women’s empowerment during the formation of the country’s constitution, and significant gains have been made since then including increased school enrollment for girls, and political representation for women. However, there is still much improvement left to make for women in the country’s socio-economic sphere. The patriarchal nature of many local cultures combined with the impacts of the HIV/AIDS crisis mean women often face an uphill battle, particularly in women-headed households. Employment opportunities, particularly those that take into account the special circumstances of those living with physical disabilities or illnesses are needed throughout the country.
Planeterra is partnering with Penduka, a women owned and run social business in the Katutura Township outside of Windhoek which employs at-risk women mostly living in the surrounding townships with no schooling background and no access to secure jobs, or those suffering from chronic illness or disabilities. Along with direct employment, the handicraft cooperative also contracts the services of more than 300 women from around the country for handicraft creation. Penduka hosts numerous handicraft workshops for textiles, beading and pottery, as well as a restaurant, guesthouse, and small income-generating agriculture projects. We partnered with Penduka to bring more customers to their restaurant, and are helping them develop take-out options for travelers leaving Windhoek on their way to nearby safari reserves.
With over 750 G Adventures travelers making their way to Penduka during their visit to and from Windhoek, a reliable revenue stream has been brought to Penduka’s restaurant. Travelers will also make a difference in the lives of the cooperative’s women who do not work on the property but are contracted out from various villages in rural Namibia.