Botswana: Committee To Spearhead Gender Mainstreaming

By Mpho Goitsemang

 Country manager, Ms Gomolemo Rasesigo, has implored the newly elected gender committee at the Francistown City Council (FCC) to advocate for gender mainstreaming within the council.

Speaking at a gender mainstreaming workshop recently, Ms Rasesigo explained that according to various studies, they came up with little issues in the local councils, however he said a key finding of this study was that few practical steps had been taken to mainstream gender in government or to build the capacity of councillors to lead this process.

She noted that there were no evidence of linkages between the council management and Gender Affairs Department regarding gender mainstreaming.

Ms Rasesigo said she believes that gender mainstreaming is one of the most effective means for the council to support promotion of gender equality at all levels in research, legislation, policy development and in activities on the ground, and to ensure that women as well as men can influence, participate in and benefit from development efforts.

She stated that there should be a continued need, however, to complement the gender mainstreaming strategy with targeted interventions to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment, particularly where there are glaring instances of persistent discrimination of women and inequality between women and men.

Furthermore Ms Rasesigo said a recommendation from the study was adopting and popularising the Southern Africa Development Committee (SADC) gender protocol that is informed by the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which Botswana are signatory to.

She mentioned that they should also develop and implement a gender strategy for local government and gender policies at council level, train district councils on gender mainstreaming, draw action plans and educate communities on gender mainstreaming.


Meanwhile she said in terms of center of excellence in gender mainstreaming the council should be working to gather and disseminate best practices, case studies, and so on so that they can be presented at the annual gender justice and local government summit and awards that provides councils and communities with a platform to learn from each other on empowering women and ending violence at the local level.

For his part gender focal person Mr Gerald Mahumba said the draft gender action plan for Francistown City Council is prepared and they will make sure that public commitment to achieving parity between male and female councillors will be carried through mobilization of women as candidates.

Mr Mahumba noted that as Francistown City Council they are going to engage with traditional authorities on women’s representation in local politics and also take measures to ensure equal representation of women in leadership positions in council.


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