Botswana: Reginah Mojaphoko

Date: July 19, 2018
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I started working as a public servant in 1992 and I worked in 5 different districts implementing government policies and in all of them I have acquired different skills, cultures and gained experiences, as in some of the districts I was the head of different committees. I had an opportunity to learn about Gender in 2011 when Rachel B. Jeremia transferred to Chobe District as Council Secretary .

Through the project, I work as the Chief Housing Technician at the Housing Division, Self Help Housing Agency ( SHHA). My main task is to help low income beneficiaries with allocation of state land at a very highly subsidized rate and to help them build house in the plots allocated with a zero interest rate loan. The loans cover the plots in the villages for 22 years I have worked as a policy implementer. I worked in 5 different municipalities in 5 different organizations implementing different government policies.

Championing gender indeed made some changes in my life. I have learnt from the Chobe District Council Gender Committee because we are working as a team in an extraordinary way with Rachel B Jeremia as our gender champion. directions. Tshepang Senwelo,the gender focal person person by then said I am indeed a mentor to her, a role model and guide, but in terms of gender mainstreaming she was way above me. Her speech really uplifted me because it is indeed a privilege to be a role model to a gender champion like Tshepang Senwelo.

Some of the challenges faced from championing gender  is resistance in support and budget in mainstreaming gender. There is still a cultural belief that those who drive gender equality perceive it to be inferior. The mentality of Chobe residents has not changed as they strongly belief in their culture. One of their belief is that a woman cannot do nor  say anything without the consent of the husband. In or organization, men are not willing to join the Gender committee

The future plan is to make myself commit myself to promote gender equality to women and girls in terms of education, basic services, economic opportunities and health care services women’s sexual. I will also invite donors from international organizations, regional banks and major groups including private sector to intergrate fully commitments and considerations on gender equality and women empowerment.