Women’s rights have always been sidelined
In commemoration of the International Women’s Day on Friday 08 March 2019, Botswana Development Corporation (BDC) partnered with the Sir Ketumile Masire Foundation (SKMF) to host stakeholders from a variety of local sectors including the arts, financial, communications, and philanthropic to share experiences and pertinent views on ways to bridge the gap between culture and metropolitanism in Botswana.
“It was our pleasure to partner with SKMF to host this engagement as supporting platforms that discuss pressing developmental issues is a key component of our corporation’s strategy. Matters of women empowerment and greater inclusion in leadership arenas are important to address since they benefit our whole community. With a greater balance of opportunities available between men and women, we can achieve stronger progress with our national development goals as more minds take part in decision-making across country sectors,” said BDC Acting Managing Director, Moatlhodi Lekaukau.
Lekaukau went on to say, “Botswana has made considerable strides in its history as a middle-income economy. Such milestones achieved include the evidence of women joining leadership platforms across a variety of public and private areas. It is vital, however, that as a nation we do not overlook the remaining challenges still requiring action to see more women play leading roles in more sectors across the socio-economy.”
The proceedings of the day included a panel discussion under this year’s theme Balance for Better, which comes on the heels of unprecedented global movement for women’s rights, equality and justice. Dissecting the theme from their point of view, panelists said that historically women’s rights have always been sidelined and equality was not a privilege but a basic human right.
“When you better the balance between men and women, you better the world. Balance creates stability and it’s crucial to have balance which is a synonym of fairness. If we are skewed, we stand the chance of tipping over and falling is failure. In my experience organisations that are balanced do well because men and women bring different things to the table,” said Managing Director of Liberty Life Botswana, Leungo Lulu Rasebotsa.
Business man and rapper, Game “Zeus” Bantsi said as men living in 2019 they are compelled to do a lot of revaluation as they live in an era which is more gender sensitive and aware. “There are a lot of injustices from the past that are being addressed. As human beings we are creatures of comfort and we have seen over the past decades the landscape has been changing and growing awareness of our roles as men,” he said.
Founder of Men and Boys for Gender Equality, Desmond Lunga advised that society needs to rethink the roles that were traditionally associated with genders as balance is about sharing responsibilities in a family set up. Meanwhile founder and president of Now For Them Trust, Sarah Mulwa said she is witnessing an evolving role between genders as men are now appreciating that women are contributors even though they are based at home and both men and women going to work and sharing important tasks outside the office.