• Gender links hosts political leadership workshop for couNcil candidates
In its continued efforts to increase women participation and representation in political office, Gender Links through the sponsorship of the European Union this week held a successful two -day training workshop for women aspiring for political leadership.
The training and engagement session held at Oasis motel was the first training for women across the political divide standing for council positions during the 2019 national elections.
It was necessitated by the low number of women in councils.
Presenting an overview of trends of women participation in political decision making on Monday, one of the facilitators, Valencia Mogegeh noted that the number of women in parliament has been generally on the increase, albeit at an unsatisfactory pace since 1979 to date.
Mogegeh presented a graph that showed that in the first parliament back in 1979 there were no women in parliament, with the number only increasing to one in the next elections.
In 1994 the number of women in parliament increased to four and eight in 1999. In 2009 the number of women in parliament decreased to 4 and increased to 7 before it went down to five in 2014.
Meanwhile statistics has further indicated that since 1979 there was only one woman in cabinet until 1989 when the number rose to a paltry three.
In the next election the number rose to three, four and five in the years 1994, 1999 and 2004 respectively.
Commenting on the worrisome statistics, Mogegeh said Democratic institutions, including parliament need to put in place special measures in order to achieve gender equality such as representation, policy agenda setting and accountability.
She explained that it was imperative for Government to create a society in which women and men are equal and have equal access to basic services, meaningful opportunities to participate in and contribute towards socio-economic, cultural and political development initiatives.
“Effective implementation of interventions in Democratic Political Governance and Leadership would contribute to better gender outcomes specifically on gender equality and equity, ” Mogegeh said.
“SADC Declaration on Gender and Development (1997) set a threshold of at least 30% women in decision making positions; including in political leadership. SADC Heads of State and Government – Botswana (2005) gender parity (50:50), including in political participation and decision-making.”
Meanwhile the general feeling from the floor was that women did not succeed in politics because they failed to support each other among a myriad of other reasons like lack of resources and lack of political will to support them from their parties.
UN Women Gender Specialist Magdeline Madibela gave the key note address while motivational speaker on leadership Kgomotso Jongman inspired the women and Voice Editor- in -Chief, Emang Bokhutlo addressed the women on effective media for campaign purposes.