Date: September 25, 2018
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“Seeing the women having passion to start their businesses and change their lives makes the council more committed to helping the women” Nurse Oaitse GFP 

 The council is committed to the entrepreneurship project, they feel that it is a part of the programs that are being implemented by council. The general feeling is that the project has added a new dimension by assisting survivors of GBV. The council management is also aware of the project and have been actively supporting it.  

The council is located some 180 kilometres south west of Gaborone. It is about 81 kilometers from Kanye the capital of Bangwaketse. Jwaneng is a diamond mining town situated on the South West of the country. It is surrounded by Southern, Kgalagadi and Kweneng districts and it is situated along the Trans Kgalagadi Highway. The total population of Jwaneng is eighteen thousand and eight (18 008): nine thousand eight hundred and thirty one (9831) men and eight thousand one hundred and seventy three (8173) women. It is male dominated and the majority of the people in the mining town are employed by Debswana Diamond Company and the sub-contracted companies.  

The council became a COE in 2009 upon completion of their plan and have been playing an active role in ensuring that gender mainstreaming becomes a reality. The council has a gender committee that is formed by people from various departments. They participate at the summit each year and often end up on the top four councils, except in 2014, when they fared badly due to some internal problems. There latest score is 67%. 

The council has been involved with the FLOW project since 2013, when the women wrote their ‘I stories’ and they formed part of the first ever booklet produced specifically for Botswana.  

The project has full support of the CEO (Town Clerk) and the women commissioner who is a councillor. They have ownership of the project and went beyond just knowing the women involved in the program, they formed a support group that has a committee. The committee meets with the Gender focal person (GFP) fortnightly to come up with activities that they can do to educate people on GBV. The GFP always attends the trainings and also inputs especially in educating the women on services offered by council to empower them economically. The council has  profiled the project as part of their presentation during the summit.   

The GFP, a social worker,  helped greatly in identifying the women. The Mpule Kwalagobe Child Care Centre also assisted in identifying the target group. The GFP always helps in the following up participants and making sure that letters for those who found jobs are written to request them to be released to attend the training.  

 The council always provided the council conference rooms at no extra cost for venues. There are always staff members present during training.  The GFP organised some extra training for the emerging entrepreneurs and linked them up with local funders.  

The council is not responsible for allocating land and for  Jwaneng, being a town, it is not easy to identify land. Therefore the women who were supported by council conduct their businesses from their residential areas. The council has linked them with the local library so that they are able to practice to use computer. The council has assisted five of the women with start-up finance. They have come to an agreement with the women making beads to set up their stalls in council premises every month end. They also help them to participate in the women expo’s organised by the Gender Affairs Department. 

The council through the gender committee has organised another workshop similar to phase three and called more stakeholders who can assist the women locally from both the private sector and the government. The response has been slow but promising according to the GFP.  

The council has been more supportive towards ending GBV in their locality as a result of the project, they have organised various workshops targeting males and females  and then having combined session where they discuss issues of GBV.   They have also been more supportive towards women’s economic empowerment as a result of the project as some women were funded and others not necessarily in the project have also benefited.  The council’s gender action plan especially the GBV action plan has been strengthened as a result of the project. They have managed to have activities to educate people on GBV.   

Working with Jwaneng Town Council has been very easy and the key lesson learned is that when everyone in the council embraces change then everything falls into place. The involvement of the council management has also made it easy to reach out to the women and build trust.  More women want to join the group after seeing the transformation on others. The council wishes to reach out to them as they have realised that there is a lot of abuse going on in the mining town and many if the women do not speak out.  

GL will continue to support the council technically if need be as they work with the women.  



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