Vera Pauw and her Banyana outfit fly to Namibia on Monday evening and begin their AWC journey with a tricky encounter against Cameroon on Sunday.
Banyana have been grouped alongside Cameroon, Ghana and Algeria, in what has been dubbed the “Group of Death” at this year’s tournament.
“It’s a very crucial time for our women’s team,” Mashaba said in Rustenburg on Monday.
“We can only say to them, girls go there and go fight hard. Good luck, go out there and do it for the nation.”
The top three teams at this year’s tournament will qualify for the 2015 Fifa Women’s World Cup in Canada.
“If you look at the group that they are in, it’s a tough group,” Mashaba added.
“Nobody is sure, out of all the teams that have qualified, who’s going to win.
“Who knows, it might be us.”
Mashaba, who is in camp with his Bafana Bafana troops ahead of crucial back-to-back 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Congo-Brazzaville this week, said he had taken note that the senior national men’s team was the only team yet to qualify for a major tournament this year.
“If you look at everything that we are doing in our national football, it turns into gold in our national teams,” he said.
“All national teams, the under-17s, the under-20s, Banyana, it’s only us [Bafana]. We are en route to the qualifiers and we will qualify.”
This year, the national under-20s, under-17s and Banyana all qualified for their respective youth and women’s championships, which serve as qualification competitions to World Cups next year.
Bafana were bidding to qualify for a major competition for the first time since 2008.