The Botswana Public Employees Union (BOPEU) Women’s Council is deeply concerned by the scourge of Gender Based Violence (GBV) within the labour sector.
Addressing the BOPEU Women’s Council workshop in Francistown last week, Chairperson Patricia Raditladi said the increasing GBV cases are a result of the shortage of women in leadership positions.
“There is a need for an increased women participation in key positions. If the workplace continues to be dominated by men, gender equality in the labour sector will remain an illusion,” she opined.
According to Raditladi, Trade Unions like BOPEU are perfectly positioned to be advocates of gender equality in the workplace, but the challenge is that its leadership positions are male dominated.
“We note that only a few women are in the Union’s leadership positions. This phenomenon is not only noticeable in Botswana but the world over,” she added. Moreover, she pronounced that for the achievement of peace and security, as well as sustainable development, gender inequality has to be tackled as a matter of urgency.
Raditladi further stated that achieving gender equality requires transformation of the leadership structures within the work place to accommodate women. “We also need to respect women’s rights,” she said.
For her part, Francistown District Commissioner Chabongwa Matseka challenged women who envy leadership positions to cultivate a culture of self-belief and risk-taking.
She said this could help them become competitive. “Leadership has its own hardships and challenges but as women, this should not deter us. We should be confident enough to take leadership positions,” Matseka emphasized.