Veronica de Klerk
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Veronica Cecilia de Klerk (born 26 November 1947) is a Namibian women's rights activist. Veronica Cecilia De Klerk is a former television news presenter and actuality radio programme presenter with the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation in Namibia, and was educated in Germany in the "Promotion of Women's Self-help programmes in developing countries".
Veronica Cecilia de Klerk
|Born||26 November 1947|
Kimberley, South Africa
|Occupation||Former executive director|
|Organization||Women's Action for Development (WAD)|
|Known for||heading the most prominent women's movement and one of the most successful NGO's|
During 1996, Veronica De Klerk was appointed the first Executive Director of the Women's Action for Development (WAD) – a prominent non-partisan, non-profit-making women's movement in Namibia, which is widely recognised as a visible, vocal, and a fast-moving NGO in Namibia.
Under her leadership, WAD has established "Community Voice" programmes in all regions of the country, which consists of 107 Community Voice members, and who act as Trainers and Fieldworkers for WAD, to act and speak out on behalf of rural communities on their numerous social challenges. The Community Voices assist in identifying and solving their social challenges in partnership with decision-makers in the regions.
Moreover, WAD has training centres in the regions of Omusati (north), Karas (far south) and Hardap (south), where skills training is offered to the most marginalised. The organisation has further trained thousands of unemployed rural people to acquire various skills, which enabled them to successfully enter the labour market, while having assisted others to establish various income-generating ventures, country-wide.
Furthermore, WAD has under her leadership, trained and graduated 170 members of the Defence Force and 200 members of the Police Force in various skills, such as computer literacy; office administration, English statements and report-writing, to improve their work performance. Moreover, WAD has trained and graduated Prisoners and Wardens in various skills, as well as Commercial Sex Workers to acquire skills to take up more honourable employment in the labour market.
During 1997, Veronica De Klerk was appointed to the Namibian President's Economic Advisory Council.
During 2004, De Klerk was acknowledged in the publication: "Guide to Namibian Politics" as heading the most prominent women's movement and one of the most successful NGO's in the country and acknowledged as one of 109 Namibian key-players that influences political direction in the country.
During 2005, De Klerk was nominated by the Namibian media as the "Spokesperson of the Year for the Public and NGO sectors".
During 2005, De Klerk was nominated by the "French Association of Friendship and Solidarity with African Peoples" as one of 52 African women "Who make Africa Move"!
During 2006, Veronica De Klerk was, together with the President of the Council of Churches in Namibia and retired Bishop, Dr. Zephania Kameeta, nominated by the "Global Call to Action Against Poverty" (GCAP), as "Goodwill Ambassador" for Namibia, in honour of her exemplary work performed in the reduction of poverty in Namibia".
During 2006, under her leadership, WAD commissioned a two-year research project, to determine the root causes of violence against women and girls, together with the University of Namibia and the Ministry of Safety and Security, while interviewing 200 convicted perpetrators in most prisons country-wide. Alcohol abuse was found to be the main cause of violence against women, among many other causes.
De Klerk further contributed towards the publications: "Women and Custom – Cultural practices versus Gender Equality", as well as "Children's Rights in Namibia" together with the Law Faculty of the University of Namibia.
During 2006, De Klerk commissioned and directed a nationwide educational anti-corruption television programme in Namibia, in which thousands of viewers participated. During this project, 50 000 anti-corruption messages were received and channelled through to the Anti-Corruption Commission.
During 2007, the Namibian Minister of Works, Transport and Communication conferred Veronica De Klerk as “Goodwill Ambassador for Road Safety in Namibia”.
During 2009, under her leadership, WAD co-hosted, in partnership with the Anti-Corruption Commission of Namibia, the awareness-raising "Great Walk against Corruption" in which thousands of people from all sectors of society participated in the capital.
During 2011, under her leadership, WAD formed a Tri-partnership with the Ministry of Education and the Law Faculty of the University of Namibia to penetrate all Junior and Senior Secondary Schools country-wide, to train 800 School Counsellors and Life Skills Teachers in the causes and consequences of Gender Based Violence, with the view to sensitise and educate 67 552 learners, with the aim of training learners to value and respect women and girls and to dramatically reduce violent behaviour in the Namibian society.
During 2011, WAD and its main donor as implementing agents, together with the Ministry of Gender Equality & Child Welfare; the Law Faculty of the University of Namibia; and the Legal Assistance Centre, launched a N$6 Million project: "My Rights as a Woman and Namibian Citizen: Gender and Human Rights Awareness-raising in the Namibian Society", to contribute towards a more gender sensitive Namibian society where human rights are protected and where women enjoy equal opportunities without fear of discrimination, marginalisation or harassment. 9 000 community members; decision-makers and community leaders were trained in the contents of gender-related laws, including the Combating of the Domestic. Violence Law; the Combating of the Rape Law; the Child Maintenance Law; and the Married Persons' Equality Law, for women and men to know their rights within those laws.
During 2012, the Minister of Labour and Social Welfare appointed Veronica De Klerk as one of 5 Commissioners to serve on the "Namibian Minimum Wage Commission for Domestic Workers" to establish a national minimum wage for Domestic Workers for the country.
During 2013, De Klerk commissioned and directed a nationwide anti Gender Based Violence television programme as an educational national awareness-raising television campaign to stop the spate of violence in Namibia.
During 2014, His Excellency, President Dr. Hifikepunye Pohamba appointed Veronica De Klerk, as one of 18 Commissioners to serve on the National Planning Commission, to assist in addressing poverty, unemployment, the lack of skills among poor communities, as well as the evils of Gender Based Violence; Alcohol and Drug abuse, Teenage Pregnancies, etc.
During 2012, 2013, and 2014, under her leadership, the "Professional Management Review" (PMR), based in South Africa, presented WAD with one Gold Award and 2 Diamond Awards respectively, for excellent leadership and achievements.
A powerful attribute of De Klerk is her visibility in the mass media of the country, in which she regularly speaks out against various social evils, injustices and inequalities in society, thereby improving the status of women in society. This has made her a powerful agent for social change.
De Klerk serves on various directorships. She has produced various publications and has presented various papers at local and international conferences on the advancement of women and rural communities.
WAD has trained over 50 000 poor, unemployed, and unskilled women and men country-wide, mostly free of charge, while between 65% and 70% of those trained have found job placements in the labour market or established own income-generating ventures.
De Klerk grew up in Windhoek, the island territory of St. Helena, and in South Africa. She was a television personality during the 1980s on the South West African Broadcasting Corporation prior to independence in 1990.