The Ministry of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs (MNIG) hosted a media breakfast at the Gaborone International Convention Centre (GICC) on Tuesday 2 November 2021 with the purpose of giving an update on the gender affairs agenda.
“We have a lot of experts present and in absentia, and it is up to you as experts to view issues pertaining to gender disparity analytically, subjecting them to priority of life attention. It is on that basis to stress the need to ensure that communities are well informed on this issue we are addressing today in a timely manner,” the Permanent Secretary, Dr Temba Mmusi, said.
The United Nations (UN) Gender Advisor, Vanilde Furtado, said the UN will finally be signing a sustainable development Corporation Framework (CF) with Botswana following several months of deliberations, a commitment that will last for five years commencing in 2022.
The partnership was officialised during a signing event held on Thursday last week in the context of celebration of UN Day. “We want to take this opportunity to thank you all for your active participation during the process,” Furtado said. Government, civil society organisations, academia, the private sector, and media have all played a key role.
“The process started in October last year with an independent evaluation of our current CF. This was followed by development of a country context analysis and a prioritisation and foresights exercise, and finally, the development of the results framework, including setting indicators to track implementation and results, and gender equality has been identified as a goal. We are extremely proud and hopeful for having gender equality and women empowerment at the centre of the new CF.”
Furtado went on to say that Gender-Based Violence (GBV) has no place in society and spoke of budgets and policies being gender focussed, as well as bringing together various stakeholders to tackle this issue as a collective.
For her part, gender affairs minister Anna Mokgethi, said: “Gender equality is a priority for our government and the Constitution of the Republic of Botswana, which recognises and acknowledges that women and men are equal before the law. Gender equality and women empowerment have been identified as a crucial development issue in the national framework and in key documents such as the National Vision 2036 and the National Development Plan.
“We cannot achieve any of the aforementioned objectives if we leave women behind. It has been documented that women’s economic dependence is one of the factors that leads to GBV. It is very important that women are brought on board to enjoy the economic wealth of this country. Botswana is committed to the promotion and the protection of the rights of women as well as their empowerment.”
Minister Mokgethi added that significant progress has been made in areas such as women in leadership, especially in the public service, the private sector, education and health. However, she said, GBV continues to plague the nation and that intimate partner violence has become one of the most challenging socio-cultural issues in contemporary Botswana.
According to the minister, around 55 young school-going girls around Botswana came out of lockdown pregnant in addition to reports of infants being raped by their grandparents and many other heinous crimes being committed by the very people who are supposed to protect them instead.