After publishing an article on LinkedIn on her experience as a young woman in a male dominated industry, Tinyiko Ngwenya, who was an Economist for Old Mutual Investments at that time, received an email from Laone Nthaga. Laone at that time was a Credit Risk Manager for Standard Bank in Botswana and could completely relate with Tinyiko’s article. The two then realized that gender equality will not be realized until we actively embrace feminism and support women in their careers so that they can become decision-makers and use their influence to further empower women.

Bellona Female Network was established to change the stigma around feminism and to empower women, particularly in male dominated industries, to advance their careers to become decision-makers. The premise of feminism is “equal opportunity”. Anyone who believes that women should have the same rights, power, and opportunities as men is feminist. Feminism is not anti-men, it is pro-women and our vision as Bellona is to be the number one African mobile application network geared towards women empowerment. We believe that the gender equality conversation will not change until more women become key decision makers to influence policy direction.

The WVLSA project, a mobile app development, aims to be the number one African platform to empower women and enable them to elevate their careers and one day become decision-makers in their respective organisations. The application is aimed at supporting women throughout their different life stages in their pursuit to become financially independent. We recognize that women are also mothers, sisters, daughters, friends and colleagues and hence use a holistic approach to understanding and advancing the rights of women in society. The project aims to change the stigma of feminism and illustrate that the premise of feminism is on “equal opportunity.”