BNF makes Special Dispensation for Women and Youth

Reserves 30% of wards and constituencies to women and youth


In an endeavour to promote and support women and young people to serve in decision-making bodies, the Botswana National Front (BNF) has resolved to make a special dispensation of 30 percent representation of women and young people, The Botswana Gazette has established.

Addressing a press conference in Gaborone on Monday this week about the outcome of its Central Committee (CC) team building effort on conflict resolution mechanisms, the party’s Secretary General, Ketlhalefile Motshegwa, said this decision was prompted by low participation of women and youth in its affairs.

Through the special dispensation, Motshegwa said 30 percent of BNF wards and constituencies will be reserved for women and the youth. There will also be provision of resources, special funds and capacity building to increase the leadership qualities of women and young people.

“We are concerned about the low participation of women and youth in decision-making bodies,” Motshegwa said. “Therefore, there has to be a guiding policy to resolve this. We want to be exemplary to other political parties.”

The BNF was allocated 32 constituencies for the last general elections under the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) in 2019, but the arrangement still had few women and youth candidates. The entire opposition coalition experiment had 55 men and only two women as parliamentary candidates and 436 men and only 48 women as council candidates.

A subsequent report showed that all political parties had much fewer women as parliamentary candidates than men.

Altogether all political parties had less than five female candidates each while the Real Alternative Party (RAP) did not have female candidates at all in a situation where all Independent candidates were male. At for local government level, 236 women were fielded as council candidates compared to 1 511 men.

In the results, only three parliamentary seats were won by women in the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) while the rest were won by men while only 71 women won council seats compared to 419 men.

The report noted that while the youth constitute 60 percent of the population of Botswana, only 66 youths were candidates for the 2019 general elections.