In October 2020, Botswana`s First Lady Neo Masisi, was along with seven other first ladies, nominated by the Organization of African First Ladies for Development (OAFLAD), to be a recipient of a grant that would go towards achieving objectives in line with addressing the third area of focus of OAFLAD’s current Strategic Plan, which covers Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (RMNCH). The event was held in Masa Hotel in Gaborone tis Wednesday.
According to the 2019 World Bank Report, 37 percent of women and 21 percent of men have experienced Gender-Based Violence (GBV) at least once in their lives. The alarming figures are 2 percent more than the global indicators for similar groups.
In October 2020, Botswana`s First Lady, Neo Masisi, was among seven other first ladies nominated by the Organisation of African First Ladies for Development (OAFLAD) to become recipients of a grant that would go towards achieving objectives of OAFLAD’s current Strategic Plan, namely Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (RMNCH).
A Project Management Team comprising representatives of various ministries was tasked with putting together a proposal that would address issues in Botswana that fall under OAFLAD`s strategy.
Speaking at a media briefing earlier this week in Gaborone, Thapelo Phuthego, Director of Gender Affairs Department at the Ministry of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs said research indicates that there is a correlation between childhood abuse and GBV. Of 92 percent of women who encountered violence, 96 percent of them were abused in their childhood. Referring to the National Strategy Towards Ending Gender-Based Violence, Phuthego noted:, “To-date, significant strides have been made with regard to conducting GBV-related studies. These include the 2012 GBV Indicators Study, the 2018 National Relationship Study and the 2019 Violence Against Children Study. Government also recently undertook legislative and institutional reforms which are guided by the National Strategy Towards Ending Gender-Based Violence (Sex Offender Bill and Inter-Ministerial GBV Committee).”
In Botswana, over 67 percent of women have experienced abuse, which is double the global average. Addressing the role that men play in the fight against GBV, Nonofo Leteane, an official at the National Aids Coordinating Agency (NACA) said both men and boys must take a strong stand as key partners. Botswana is currently number two on the sexual violence statistics, with South Africa in first position.
Leteane said a lot of introspection is needed on historic decisions and cultural practices, among which is the fact that growing up, male children are taught that “boys don’t cry” and boys and girls being brought up with allocated gender roles in homes.