Evelyn Kgodungwe

Evelyn Kgodungwe

Date: March 4, 2011
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The power of media literacy: empowered councillor now has email at home

Never underestimate the power of an email address. Gender Links conducted a three-day media literacy training course from 14-16 September 2009 at the President Hotel in Gaborone, Botswana. Mrs. Evelyn Kgodungwe is one of the women councillors who participated in the Media Literacy and IT Skills course for Women in Politics, a collaboration of Gender Links and the Botswana Association of Local Authorities (BALA). The 24 participants were drawn from main local districts across the country.

The training targeted members of the BALA Women Commissioners. The objectives of BALA Women Commissioners are to ensure that local government and other governance structures become gender-sensitive, particularly through gender-responsive planning and budgeting and through sensitizing communities on gender issues.

The main objectives of the media Literacy training were to develop women’s IT proficiency as part of their advocacy skills and to understand the concept of media literacy. Through the workshop, BALA Women Commissioners created email accounts and were trained to send emails. To put into practice the skills they learnt during the workshop, they produced a newsletter. The participants also gained a more nuanced understanding of gender and media issues.

Gender Links followed up to find out how the participants are utilising the skills they learnt. Keabonye Ntsabane, country facilitator of Gender Links in Botswana interviewed Evelyn Kgodungwe, a member of BALA Women Commissioners and Botswana Congress Party Councillor in Selibe Phikwe.

Kgodungwe has taken her training very seriously and is now technologically empowered. She says, “I have connected email in my house and it is now easy to communicate and get invitations from outside.” Kgodungwe wished that the same courses on IT could be provided to their community as it would save them transport costs they spend when organising their ward meetings.

“With this email, I receive invitations in time and I am able to chat with my family every time I want. Email is cost-effective; with it you can reach the outside world”.

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