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Girls, women empowerment key to leadership

PINI BOTHOKO
Batshu is impressed by development of women in leadership
The Minister of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs, Edwin Batshu has said the empowerment of the girl-child and women should be seen as key towards the development of women in leadership.

Batshu was speaking at an executive leadership reception for leading women in the Botswana public service and parastatal organisation that was held at the Botswana Public Service College Hall last week.

The event was held under the theme, ‘#BeBoldForChange’ as part of the International Women’s Day commemoration.

He said that the country has made some bold changes through institutionalisation of gender in socio-economic, political and cultural systems both within the public and civil society sectors.

He congratulated women in leadership for possessing and displaying leadership virtues including managing complexities and drive for results. “Your strategic thinking and analytical skills combined with customer-focus has contributed immensely to the current development of Botswana,” Batshu said.

He said Government has also made deliberate efforts to invest in the education of girls and empower women to assume leadership positions. “These include their appointment to key positions such as Cabinet, Parliament, Ntlo ya Dikgosi, councils, public service, Botswana missions abroad as well as executive positions in the private sector,” Batshu said.

He urged them to lead by example so that their followers and mentees learn the right leadership qualities.

Batshu said it is imperative for women in leadership positions to disassociate themselves from undesirable behaviour, including failure in all its manifestation.

He promised that as Government, they would support women to have pride in themselves and continue their significant contributions in moving the country to the next level.

Batshu said Botswana

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currently leads the Southern African Development Community region with women in leadership positions within public service at 44%.

“I should indicate that over 70% of women are at management level within the public service. We, however, need to improve in the private sector as women are below 30%. As Government, our intention is to improve and remain on top, not in the region, but beyond,” Batshu said.

He added the 2017 commemoration of International Women’s Day is timely as it coincides with the adoption of Vision 2036 and the National Development Plan (NDP) 11, which are aligned to the sustainable development goal and key regional and international gender instruments. He said that the Constitution of Botswana section 15 (1) provides that no law shall make any provision that is discriminatory, either of itself, or in its effect.

“Other instruments include the Public Service Act, which recognises sexual harassment as an offence, and the Mines and Quarries Act, which allows for women to work underground,” Batshu said.

Batshu disclosed that his Ministry has unearthed complex issues such as gender-based violence (GBV), intimate partner violence, GBV amongst commercial sex workers, stereotypes and personal attitudes towards gender relations for public dialogue.

He went on to challenge fellow men to embrace change and take bold steps to acknowledge and appreciate the benefits accrued from transformation in the private and public spheres from a gender perspective.



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