Botswana: Okemetse Prudence Kwelagobe

Date: July 13, 2018
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Ms Kwelagobe is a police officer by profession, who is a gender activist and youth mentor residing in Lobatse. She speaks fearlessly and boldly on gender issues in her area of Lobatse, inspired by Martin Luther King’s words that “everyone can be great because anyone can serve”. Her primary mandate as an activist includes gender fairness in the workplace and in the community through outreaches, referrals to relevant stakeholders such as the government, Red Cross, BAPR and NGOs. She accrues her uniqueness to her ability to forge meaningful partnerships whilst advocating for gender equality.

She hails her station as the best law enforcement force in addressing gender issues in the entire country because of her efforts, which are bearing fruits. Gender imbalance is actively treated as part of crime prevention initiative at her police station but not stigmatizing any group of people, male, youth, underprivileged. Ms Kwelagobe also aspires to have stakeholder’s mainstream gender into existing policies stating that if all organizations would have clear standing orders on gender issues then gender equality will be immensely progressive. It is also her mandate to instil behavioural change in the youth and empower them on issues relevant to gender in order to raise a nation with a voice and women who are keen to unleash their potential with the support of their male counterparts.

Ms Kwelagobe takes volunteering with different stakeholders very seriously, one of them being the BAPI Psychosocial rehabilitation for orphaned kids and the Peace Corps. Educational campaigns in schools as well as capacity building initiatives with partner organizations are some of the things Ms Kwelagobe engages in, whilst offering counselling as a member of the district gender committee. Ms Kwelagobe was recognized as one the 50 young Batswana change makers for her work in gender issues and youth mentor ship. She was also a nominee for the Botswana youth awards in 2017. She is the secretary general for the Southern Ddivision Women Network and is a member of the Lobatse District Gender Committee. Ms. Kwelagobe is the founding member of Lobatse Pledge 25, which solicits blood donations, and Bandleng youth club which addresses social ills in the community. She also often provides MC services for instance; she was MC for the National Constituency Tournament Awards and the Lobatse 120 years Celebration. She collaborated with the International Working Group on women and Sports for the launch of the He for Her initiative in Lobatse and spearheaded the signing of signatures of solidarity against child abuse in partnership with Stepping Stones International.

In future, she intends to mobilize the entire community to own up to gender equality in partnership with public figures and wants to launch a “walk in her shoes” campaign that addresses gender equality.

She won 1st position Leadership category 2018 SADC Gender Protocol@Work summit.