Wednesday, February 24, 2021

BDP women’s wing angling for change of defilement age

Botswana Democratic Party Women’s Wing led by Dorcas Makgato wants the government to align the age of defilement of 16 years in the penal code with the definition of a child in the children’s Act.

The Act recognises anybody up to 18 years as a child

They want government to consider denying bail to repeat offenders in sexual violence cases including rape and the so called passion killing.

This forms part of the resolutions obtained by  TheTelegraph that were taken during the BDP woman’s wing General Assembly held in Mahalapye over the weekend. 

The move is meant to curb gender based violence and to protect the girl child.

As a matter of urgency the BDP women wing urged government to sign and ratify the SADC protocol on Gender and Development as soon as possible. They want government to conduct gender awareness training for the police, prosecutors and judicial officers to ensure that they are sensitive to the social needs of victims of gender based violence.

“We call for a study to be done on sentencing trends of the so called passion killings; we urge government to review the criminal law to remove the use of provocation as a defence in cases of gender based crime/violence,” the resolutions reads.

Under political empowerment and representation the BDP women resolved to engage the party with a view to having a prescribed minimum number of women representations in all party structures.

“To engage the party to establish programmes specifically focused on political leadership development for women within the party as part of the party school’s curriculum; to urge the party to consider term limits for all elected and nominated positions,” the resolutions reads.

Under the socio-economic empowerment BDP woman call for a specific as well as increased budget or the gender empowerment programme.

They want government to undertake a study of economic empowerment programs to determine the barriers to full access by beneficiaries.

On issues for noting and administrative considerations BDP woman want the ruling BDP to consider women only primary elections; special nominations for women only; removal of security for women projects; replace women councillors with women councillors, rotate nominated councillors and special nomination of 70 percent of women representative.

These resolutions are expected to be adopted in the next Women wing national congress scheduled for next year.

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