United States Of America Ambassador to Botswana Craig Cloud has noted with concern, the troubling incidents of sexual harassment which make it difficult for women to progress in politics.
Cloud made the above observation when addressing women in politics at the capacity enhancement for political advancement of women project launch and symposium.
Cloud noted that some women politicians have complained that some men ask for sexual favours from them in exchange for support in political campaigns. The event was held under the theme ‘Go ruta Mosadi ke go ruta sechaba.’
“There are other factors affecting women advancement in politics like women first have to seek approval from their men, families and the community they live in before contesting for the elections. Even more troubling, we have heard women don’t support each other.” said Cloud.
Women make 52% of Botswana’s population but only three out of 57 constituencies elected women as members of parliament in the last elections. Batswana must change and I want to see men being campaign managers for women. This project is about raising awareness and finding the solution to increase women participation in politics, “said Craig.
Dr Augustine Magolowondo said the one- year programme aims at increasing the role and influence of women participating in political institutions and decision-making in Botswana. He said even when women gain representation, their influence is limited by the centralisation of party control in male dominated political party leadership.
‘Capacity enhancement will introduce a programme to relevant and strategic partners with a particular interest in political parties, civil society, academia, government, media and private sector. It will also reflect on the history and challenges that women face in politics from the perspective and experiences of various stakeholders,’ he said.
For her part, Minister of Nationality, Gender and Immigration Annah Mokgethi said women continue to be the minority at negotiating tables across all levels of life.
She said in 2018, Emang Basadi did a study, which found many challenges which prevent women from actively participating in politics.
“These challenges among others include lack of deliberate measure that promote women participation in political decision making at all levels within political parties. Where political parties have adopted quotas to promote women’s involvement this has not yielded any positive results. Women are regularly marginalised by their male counterparts including the language used against them during campaigns is so dehumanising and I can bear testimony,” said Mokgethi