International Women’s Day in Molepolole [fr]
The Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs through Gender Affairs Department Mr Batshu celebrated the Commemoration of International Women’s Day on 5th March 2015 at Molepolole Stadium. The event was commemorated under the theme " Beijing +20 - Where are We?"
Numerous Government officials, members of the diplomatic corps and NGOS were present for the celebration, among them the French Ambassador HE Mrs Anne de la Blache, Dr Onalenna Selolwane, a founding member of Emang Basadi Movement and a former University of Botswana lecturer, UN and USAID representatives, Mr Anders Pedersen and Mr Blake Crystal. The event lasted the whole morning, with speeches, choirs and dances.
Speaking in front of NGOs involved in the gender equity struggle, Mr Batshu said that, Botswana had made deliberate efforts to strengthen the legal and policy environment towards realization of gender equality in the country.
He, however, said that despite notable achievements in women empowerment, more had to be done regarding the political sphere and encouraging a better participation of women. This a matter of national concern.
As a keynote speaker Mr Blake stressed the importance of solidarity between men and women on issues of gender equality. The USA was working with the Government of Botswana at the community level to address gender-based violence (GBV).
Dr Onalenna talked about the difficulty of implementing women’s rights in a traditional patriarchal society, and how, with time and a little patience, it has been possible to garner support even from traditional leaders. Some issues still have to be addressed, the government will be held accountable for whatever is lagging behind.