Each month through the #WednesdayCelebrateWomen campaign, the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Windhoek celebrates inspiring women making a positive impact in Namibia.
For this month’s #WCW #WednesdayCelebrateWomen, UNIC Windhoek celebrates Dr. Peggy Emvula, the first Namibian Radiation Oncologist, doing remarkable work for cancer patients in Namibia. Check out her interview with UNIC Windhoek to learn more about this amazing woman!
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your career? What is one of your career achievements that you are most proud of?
I was born in Namibia some 57 years ago. I come from a humble family of six siblings. My parents are both late. I had my primary education in Northern Namibia and my secondary education at Dobra in Windhoek. In 1979 I left the country for Angola and then Zambia, where I underwent training for journalism at the Africa Literature Centre in Kitwe. I then returned back to Angola in 1981 where I worked as a journalist for the Combatant, a paper for the People’s Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN). In 1982 I left for Sofia, Bulgaria to study medicine at the Medical Academy Sofia. My dream has always been that of becoming a doctor with the aim to help people. I completed my medical training in 1989 and came back to Namibia. I got employed by the Health Ministry since 1990. During my work, I noticed patients with cancer especially those who were advanced and could not be sent to South Africa for treatment but could be offered short courses of treatment at home which was not available then. So when an opportunity came up to go for training in cancer treatment, I immediately applied and was granted the opportunity. I am a proud mother of one son. One of my career achievements I am very proud of is being able to fulfill my dreams. Cancer is one of the most feared diseases by man. I am able to bring smiles on my patients’ and their families’ faces. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing a patient coming in on a wheelchair and then after treatment coming back walking on his/her two feet or coming in crying from pain and going out smiling because you were able to alleviate that.
What are your thoughts on women’s empowerment and gender equality?
Women still don’t enjoy the same rights and opportunities across all sectors of society including economic participation and decision making. Different behaviours and aspirations and needs of women and men are not equally valued and favoured. For me, gender equality is just a dream we are living. Traditionally women still suffer discrimination and exclusion from decision making. Continue reading