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BDP women to push for quotas

TSAONE BASIMANEBOTLHE
Makgato
The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) women’s wing general assembly next month is expected to discuss the introduction of gender quotas at council and Parliament level in order to empower women.

The assembly will generally focus on political education as well as economic and social empowerment.

Yesterday, BDP women’s wing chairperson, Dorcas Makgato told journalists that party president, Ian Khama would perform the official opening of the assembly in Mahalapye. The event is being held under the theme ‘Our Empowerment, Our Strength’.

Although she was eager not to preempt discussions, Makgato said the assembly would tackle several burning issues for women democrats.

“I believe the issue of quotas for women representation in council and Parliament will be discussed under political issues.

“The women will debate on how they want the issue to be handled or empowered in this one. Even the matter on the SADC gender protocol will fall under politics,” she said. Several local NGOs have tried and failed to convince successive governments to sign the Gender Protocol, with government resisting all efforts and insisting that Botswana is ahead of

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the curve in terms of women in positions of authority.

Makgato said the assembly would come up with clear goals on what the BDP women plan to do to enhance the status of women in politics and the economy.

She said veteran MP and long time Cabinet member, Joy Phumaphi would lead discussions on political education.

“She will teach women on the political challenges they may face, how to overcome them and the role they should play when given political positions. Phumaphi is a former MP and a minister and she did well during her time.

“Professor Sheila Tlou will teach us on health issues and gender specialist Magdeline Madibela from the United Nations will advocate on the importance of voting other women and empowering ourselves,” Makgato said. Members of Parliament, councillors and women in different party structures as well as veterans, are due at the assembly.



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