Layani Elias – Botswana

Layani Elias – Botswana

Date: July 2, 2015
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The day I attended the Gender Links SADC gender protocol@work summit, I learned that GBV really exists. I saw so many things during that summit. As a result, I was motivated as a youth leader to integrate gender issues in my organization. Since then, I have been spearheading all the gender activities at the Broadcasters Organisation. I work as the president in our organisation, dealing with all issues that concern our work. I tackle everything we face, including gender.

After attending a few Gender Links workshops, I started bringing gender into our work as an organization. For example, what I learned motivated me to include gender in our performance appraisal forms. Gender now forms part of our core organizational performance objectives, which I myself implemented. This ensures that all the monthly reports I submit to the advisory team or board are gender sensitive. I also make sure that we have a gender related event on a quarterly basis, so that gender issues are continuously promoted. Furthermore, I have included an officer in the organisation who is responsible for gender.

I am also a radio presenter; I present a youth radio programme which addresses issues young people face, including gender issues. This earned me respect. I got a media award for being the best radio presenter in 2013. When I do my show I make sure that is gender balanced .

Championing gender issues has helped me to appreciate all people. I have learnt that GBV issues are very critical in every society. This has helped me to understand that gender issues are not only about sex, but that it a broad term that links to many other social issues. The Botswana Gender Links staff is responsible for this change in my understanding. Our board chairman Mr Ralph Kgabanyane is also one of the people who is responsible for this change.

Our first event about GBV helped us to raise gender issues at the Ramotswa event, when we were helping a GBV survivor. The community responded in a positive way. People were willing to support, and learn from us. I have organised clean-up campaigns, and gender events where we assisted GBV survivors.

In the future, I hope to see the Broadcasters Organisation become a big youth organisation that promotes gender issues through the media, and have a fully fledged gender department that only deals with promoting gender issues. I will work to continue promoting gender issues in communities, and hope that will include building a shelter for GBV survivors. I want to lobby media houses in my community to produce gender balanced programmes.


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