Summit 2014:Jwaneng Town Council

Date: October 22, 2014
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Jwaneng’s gender action plan was developed in 2010, but is not yet signed and adopted. The Plan is widely publicised within the council and community, and the plan is to mainstream in into the annual plan during the full council meeting of 28-29 February 2013. The Jwaneng Town Council was a winner at the National Gender Justice & Local Government Summit in Botswana in 2012, in the GBV category. Through its Social and Community Development programme, the council offers marital and relationship disputes counselling. They deal with disputes that are characterized by assault, abuse and domestic violence. Social workers recognised the need for such counselling, as the issues trickle down from the couple to the family to the community. Next to counselling, they embark on theatre and drama groups, house-to-house campaigns, community information campaigns and more. Nurse Oaitse presented on the project and scooped the award, representing Botswana in this category at the Regional Summit in 2012.

Due to staff transfers, the adoption and implementation of the plan has been slow, but when GL met with the Deputy Town Clerk Mr. Moileke, he reaffirmed the council’s commitment to the process and said that the verification visit and measuring progress will assist with taking the plan forward. The Council has 3 female and 6 male councillors; for Botswanan standards this is not bad, and it appears the 3 women councillors have no problem making their voices heard and counted. One of the women councillors is Mrs Raditanka, who is also featured in GL’s Women in Politics. 3 out of 5 committees are chaired by women. Women actively participate in public meetings and most of the community meetings are attended by women.

In contrast to some other district councils, women actively participate in public meetings and most of the community meetings are attended by women. Due to the nature of the mining town, most of the time men are in the mines and women work in the market place. Through the council’s destitute plan and through the ward development committees, it absorbed 22 women from this programme that were employed by the council.

There are good numbers of women in management, but most of the policies and procedures are gender neutral. There was also not yet much awareness of the importance of keeping gender disaggregated data. During the verification meeting the council managed to gather some gender disaggregated data though, on HR, for example. The Deputy Town Clerk acknowledged that he saw the difference in the disbursement of men and women along different salary scales and positions, and stated from now on he is going to pay more attention to this and see what can be done to encourage change.

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