Botswana: Closing curtains of the 2016 Summit

Date: November 26, 2016
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Gaborone 23 November 2016: The Botswana SADC Protocol @ Work Summit under the theme 50/50 by 2030! Empower Women, End Violence ended on a high note with an award ceremony to recognise excellence in advancing gender equality, women’s empowerment and actions to end violence at individual and community levels as presented in shared best practices.

Nine winners and eight runner ups received awards from 50 entries in 8 categories (see Annex A). Gender Links Botswana, in partnership with Botswana Association of Local Authorities (BALA) and The Botswana SADC Gender Protocol Alliance members organised the annual awards that brought together 140 participants from 15 councils out of the possible 31 in the country. Non-Governmental Organisations also took part in different categories, showcasing their best practices. The Botswana summit was supported by UNFPA, UNDP and DFID. The summit came at an appropriate time on the eve of the 2016 Sixteen Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence on Women and Girls. The 2016 Summit theme is aligned to the 16 days for concerted efforts to advance women’s rights and end GBV by 2030.

In his Keynote address at the official opening on 21 December 2016, the Minister of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs, Mr. E. J. Batshu reiterated the commitment of Botswana in supporting efforts of ensuring attainment of Gender Equality through development of policies and programs. He went on to applaud Gender Links for continuing efforts in the implementation of the targets of the SADC Gender Protocol and commended efforts during the Post-2015 review in partnership with the Alliance.  He highlighted that despite the positive gains in gender equality in Botswana, GBV remains a gap that needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency.

Various partners gave a statement during the official opening including The SADC Gender Protocol Alliance, BALA, UNFPA, University of Botswana and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development. Among the guests at the summit were the Ambassador of the United States His Excellency Earl Miller and the Deputy High Commissioner of Britain to Botswana Mr Oliver Richard, and top officials from government.

In an award ceremony filled with song and dance the Assistant Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Mrs. Botlogile Tshireletso gave the key note address. She applauded those who took time out to prepare for the Summit especially the Botswana Centres of Excellence; and emphasised that, they proved that Gender equality is a noble cause and needs councils reaching out to people in the communities and educating them on issues of concern such as Gender Based Violence prevalence. She cheered entrants who did not receive awards and encouraged them to strive to do better during the next summit. In her key note address, she also launched the 4th Edition of the Botswana I stories which looked at the journey of GBV survivors from the time GL started working with them to date. The book is about positive change. She also launched the Gender and Media Progress study (GMPS).

The UN Women representative in Botswana Mrs. Magdeline Mathiba – Madibela launched the 2016 SADC Gender Protocol Barometer. She gave a brief of the history of the Barometer and highlighted its purpose which includes measuring the progress of SADC countries in attaining the commitments and targets of the SADC Gender Protocol.

The Gender Links Board Member Mrs. Ntombi Setshwaelo launched the Sunrise Campaign following a speech by one of the emerging entrepreneurs Thato Simon who said, “I was married for 5 years and my marriage was full of abuse. Since meeting with GL I have turned my life around and am a proud business owner.”  In launching the Sunrise Campaign Setshwaelo echoed the words given by Simon and reiterated that economic justice gives voice and choice to the women. Informing those present that GL prides itself in seeing the women being developed to a point of being able to take control of their lives. She urged participants to help in raising funds to help support the emerging entrepreneurs by making donations online and by visiting Gender Links office. The fund will benefit not only Botswana but regionally in nine countries with the GL led Empower Women End Violence programme.

During the summit a parallel workshop for the media was held with various media houses to facilitate feedback to the GMPS study and action planning on taking forward the recommendation.

The third and last day of the summit brought together Gender Activists, Local Government Councils and Central Government personnel to discuss the SADC protocol on Gender and Development. The meeting organised by GL and Alliance Cluster of Botswana with the aim to give participants an update on the status of the revised Protocol in Botswana. It also looked at Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) and Economic Justice and mapped out a strategy for key campaigns over the next year. These include SRHR for the most at risk population including Lesbian Gay Bi-sexual Trans-sexual and Intersex (LGBTI), child marriages, gender responsive budgeting, women’s empowerment.

For more information contact:  GL Botswana Country Manager, Gomolemo  Rasesigo on Telephone +267 3188250 or e-mail


Annex A:  Botswana National Summit Participants

List of Winners and Runner ups
1 Local Government COE – Urban overall best performance. Runner up Gaborone City Council
Local Government COE – Urban overall best performance. Winner Lobatse Town Council
2 Local Government COE – Rural overall best performance. Runner up Moshupa Sub District Council
Local Government COE – Rural overall best performance. Winner Chobe District Council
3 Local Government COE – 2016 councils overall best performance. Runner Up Moshupa Sub District Council
Local Government COE – 2016 councils overall best performance. Winner Gaborone City Council
4 Local government resourcefulness urban best performance Lobatse Town Council
Local government resourcefulness rural best performance North East District Council
5 Project Best Practice Award – Economic Justice, including education, training, economic development. Runner up Nil
Project Best Practice Award – Economic Justice, including education, training, economic development. Winner Kachikau Special Unit
6 Project Best Practice Award- Gender Based Violence category Runner up Lobatse Police
Project Best Practice Award- Gender Based Violence category Winner Mosadi Thari Support Group
7 Emerging Entrepreneur best performance – Runner up Thato Simon
Emerging Entrepreneur best performance – Winner Olebogile Osetse
8 Gender Drivers of Change – Leadership Runner Up Layani Elias
Gender Drivers of Change – Leadership Winner Malebogo Kruger and Susan Pulane Molotsi