Monday, September 28, 2020

Batswana join the fight against gender based violence

The Botswana Police Service (BPS)’s television progamme, Itshireletse, recently received international recognition as it presented itself to gender associations as an initiative to assist fight gender-based violence offenses in partnership with the community.

The programme is a docudrama aimed at educating, informing and entertaining the nation on issues concerning GBV. It’s said to be produced internally by members of BPS.

Although it didn’t win any award, BPS submitted its project for the Gender Justice and Local government summit awards (GJALGSSA) that were held in Johannesburg during the last week on March.
The awards, which were a partnership between Gender Links and the Gender Justice and local government summit, were the first ever of their kind.

Awards were given to five women and four men whose programmes and work on the ground won the highest accolades from Judges and participants. Six women and 3 men were runners up and 3 men and women got special commendations.

Under the banner, “score a goal for gender equality, halve gender violence by 2015,” the summit presented awards to winners chosen from a variety of categories, including Prevention, Response, support, individual innovation, institutional good practices, specific Gender base violence (GBV) campaigns as well as innovative strategies.

A Motswana woman, Rachel Jeremia’s life skills programme to increase development amongst women in Sowa has impressed Gender Links groups from different African countries.
Jeremiah, a representative of Sowa Town Council (SCT)‘s project shows how ‘STC has given women in a predominantly mining town skill, knowledge and opportunity to reduce their dependency on their partners and provided them with safe spaces to talk about gender violence and to seek counseling.’

Jeremiah’s programme was chosen as a good example of how town councils can build programmes to address gender violence, skills development and create economic opportunities for women.
Jeremiah was the only Motswana whose programme made it to the winning list from an entry of 103 representatives from 9 countries. Another local, Phenyo Gaothobogwe’s project Nkaikela, a project addressing issues that affect sex workers received special mention and was nominated by the judges even though he didn’t make the winning list.

Madagascar was the leading country from which more than three winners of those who made the winning list came from. Madagascar is one of the few countries in Africa which are rated highly for their good governance when addressing issues of human rights. It’s also one of the countries at the forefront in tackling gender inequality issues amongst its people.

Last year, the Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG) rated Madagascar as one of the leading countries in Africa in addressing issues of participation and human rights.
Another local, Thabo Marumo, from the Kweneng East District, presented the Molepolole men’s sector in which the community involvement is central to proceedings. The men sector is said to focus mainly on education and information with hopes of addressing the differences between men and women that fuel violence and abuse.

“We also use community conversations and panel discussions as a form of practice that takes place in an innovative and communicative manner as well as wards workplaces, business areas and schools,” reads Marumo’s entry.

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