Botswana: Village meeting opens dialogue

Date: September 6, 2011
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The Gender Links Botswana Office continues to conduct village meetings in local communities as part of a process of empowering rural women to claim their rights through the Gender and Local Government Programme.

At the end of a workshop conducted on 29 June 2011, 35 women and men, comprising Village Development Committees, local police, Village Health Committees and council management representatives felt empowered to use the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development to claim their rights.

Even though Botswana has yet to sign, trainees recognised the importance of the sub-regional instrument.

The objectives of the workshop included:
– Capacity building on mainstreaming targets of the SADC Gender Protocol.
– Using key dates, such as the 16 Days of No Violence against women campaign, to popularise the SADC Gender Protocol.
– Strategies on how to address GBV during the upcoming 16 days of Activism Gender Based Violence. Click here to read more

Participants were given the opportunity to share the types of violence common in their area and what actions have been taken to end it. GL imparted knowledge about the 16 Days of No Violence against women campaign and how local councils can participate, especially if they have not taken part before.

The GL facilitator shared information on service organisations addressing gender-based violence, especially counselling. Participants were trained on how to develop a sustainable campaign on gender-based violence through collaboration. The workshop ended with a resolution that the Council would commemorate the 16 Days campaign and lobby for the signing of the SADC Gender Protocol by Botswana.

Botswana is one of two countries (the other being Mauritius), that have not signed. Participants expressed gratitude to the Botswana Authourity of Local Associations (BALA) and Gender Links for the workshop, which they said was an eye opener.


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