Neo Kesenogile – Botswana

Neo Kesenogile – Botswana

Date: June 9, 2010
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Neo Kesenogile, BDP Councillor Kweneng District Council, acknowledged that the bad attitude of male colleagues in council can be intimidating and because they outnumber women they can attack them with impunity unless they get protection from the chairperson of the council. However, with the support of other women and experience, confidence levels increase.

Her decision to want to stand for elections received mixed feelings from her family. While her siblings and their children were supportive of her, Kesenogile’s husband said that he did not want his wife to be a politician and asked her to go back on her decision.

Reception to her involvement in politics was also mixed in the community. There was opposition from some areas, but since assuming office the love and support from them has been enormous. For example, they are always willing to cook for her when she does home visits.

Women candidates have to make a lot of personal sacrifices to support their political aspirations. For example, Neo had to use her personal savings for campaigning, otherwise her campaign would have suffered; there is a constant struggle to balance home and family responsibilities and political ambitions.

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