Rachel Jeremiah – Botswana

Rachel Jeremiah – Botswana

Date: May 29, 2012
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I am an economist by profession; a profession which saw me grow up with the ranks at council to the point where I am now Deputy council secretary at Chobe district council. It’s a position I’ve been holding with the Sowa town council since 2002. In this job, I’ve been coordinator of all Council activities, and I’m responsible for the development and monitoring of government policies. I love what I do hence I take my time to make sure that everything is done properly.

My first encounter with Gender Links was in Sowa, at the time we were developing the gender action plan for the council. Gender Links helped us structure the plan, and find ways to adopt it in our work. I must say, it was very exciting to me, the fact that I would be part of the important changes in the council. The fact that GL was helping us whole heatedly was quite inspiring.

Since then, I’ve managed to pass on the knowledge I’ve gotten from Gender Links. One of the things that makes me totally happy is sharing my knowledge, especially if it is something that is going to bring change and new beginnings to someone’s life.

In my job, I have come up with development structures that will help improve life in my community. A gender task team has been formed that shows us all the way to go when it comes to gender issues. Being able to interact with everyone really helps me align everything in the right direction. This is an advantage that came from GL’s involvement in the community; it really showed us the importance of bringing everyone together to make collective progress on an issue.

My worst experiences are when I have to discipline staff members for bad practices. I much prefer grooming them to create a productive and positive working environment. These are the kinds of experiences that make me realize how important development is, both in individuals and in communities. I will do what I can to guide the people around me to share in my beliefs.

Gender Links is behind the confidence I have; it’s because of them that I can now say I believe in myself, and what I have to say and offer. It is through Gender Links that I learned how to express myself. They’ve showed me the right tools to get through to people, and I hope they will continue to make me a better person. I have met amazing women, like Tshireletso Seretse, who have become mentors to me; they inspire me to be a better person, and let me know I can also get to where they are. The Gender Links summit was one of the best moments I’ve had in my life. Being put on a platform and appreciated for who and what I am was wonderful. When I was announced the runner up at the 2010 Gender Justice awards in Johannesburg, I was proud of the fact that I made it for my country, and all the women out there trying to make a difference in their lives.

I believe that it’s my role to develop other women. It’s so important for women to know that talk is cheap, and now is the time to learn how to walk the talk and be taken seriously. This won’t just make a difference in women’s lives, but also in men’s, because they should know that people are equal, and we all need to work hand in hand towards development. Through my work, I have become a mentor for people around me, and they now want to follow in my footsteps, now that they see the value of my beliefs and my work. My future plan is to have a consultancy program which will train people in different aspects of development. I hope we can all continue to walk together on this important path.


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