Chobe  Institutional Profile

Chobe Institutional Profile

Date: November 5, 2014
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Chobe District is renowned for its tourism as it is home to the famous Chobe National Park and located in the northern part of Botswana. It forms the international boundary with the Caprivi Strip in Namibia to the North-West, Zambia to the North and Zimbabwe to the East. Thousands of tourists visit the district hence contributing to the growth of the region and economy of the country. Life in the district ranges from a modern to traditional lifestyle in most of the villages, where arable and pastoral farming are more evident.
The Chobe District Council and Gender Links have enjoyed a long standing working relationship, dating back to 2009 when the council signed up to take part in the Centre’s of Excellence programme. During the National Gender Justice & Local Government Summit in 2012, North West District Council scooped the award in the Local Economic Development Category. Tebogo Letshabamang presented on their project to promote Local Economic Development in Shorobe, to bring about economic lively hood amongst women this project focuses on basketry. They link the project to the various touristic destinations in the district, to encourage tourists to purchase their goods.

The District’s Gender Action Plan has been finalised and some parts were updated and edited, to be signed and adopted at the next full council meeting. The process is driven by the council’s gender champion, Mrs. Rachel Jeremiah, who also represented Botswana during the Regional Gender Justice and Local Government Summit in Johannesburg in 2011. Her dedication to the cause has made a difference in the council and she also visited other
councils to share their best practice and inspire others to embark on the gender mainstreaming process.

Within the council’s organisation there is still room for progress, though; the Council Secretary is female but there is one woman councillor, Mrs. Mlazi, who is also a BALA Women’s Commissioner. The Mayor and all chairs of committees are male. The low number of women’s representation in the political field can be attributed to the traditional values that do not encourage women to lead. The Gender Focal Person’s have been trained at the GL & WAD Training of Trainers in October 2012 and during GL’s stage 7&8 training, and they are going to train the GFPs in other departments this year. The Gender Champion iis n top management (Council Secretary), 4 GFPs in middle management.

The council has embarked on many activities during 16 Days, including commemoration and activities with stakeholders. With WAD, the have embarked on a house-to-house campaign on GBV, teaching people about different kinds of violence and raising awareness on what can be done. There is no specific budget for 16 Days but they use the council’s existing means and lobby for support from other budgets, which usually adds up to sufficient support.
The challenges that the council experiences are mostly the cultural beliefs and traditions that are a barrier to women’s equality, but they try to have an ongoing discussion on this though during the gender committee meetings. The Chobe District Council has also organised a panel discussion on GBV and S&CD presented on Children’s rights and the Children’s Act.

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