The Botswana Association of Local Authorities (BALA) and Gender Links will be holding their inaugural summit on the country’s gender justice and local government and awards.
The summit was initiated after two years of successful participation of Botswana in regional gender justice and local government summit and awards held in 2010 and 2011 in Johannesburg.
This year, the summit will run from 23-25 April 2012.
BALA and Gender Links have been involved in nationwide interventions on Gender mainstreaming in local government, through running of trainings that are meant to sensitize elected political representatives and their staff in local authorities to share their best practices.
“The summit is targeting the local councils that are part of the initiatives to submit entries for good practices in mainstreaming Gender at the local level,” said Keabonye Ntsabane, Coordinator Gender Links. “We have decided to engage the councils because they are able to stand up and talk about violence with a strong voice and be heard.”
The conference will run under the banner ‘365 days of collective and local action to end gender violence at local government level and gender justice.’
Ntsabane said the summit aims to bring together local government councilors and officials, relevant government ministries, NGO’s and other interested groups that work with local government authorities from the region.
“Our main objective is to provide a platform to debate around local government approaches to preventing gender violence in local communities,” she said.
She added that through this summit, they want to identify and recruit more local government councils from across the region to become centers of excellence for gender mainstreaming in local government.
“So far, we have reached out to 16 councils nationwide and have conducted more than 23 workshops in an effort to sensitize on issues of Gender,” she said.
Ntsabane added that submissions on presentations are invited in the areas of gender violence prevention, gender violence response, gender and governance. In addition the other categories include local economic development, climate change and sustainable development and HIV/AIDS and care work.
“This is the first time that a national summit in Botswana will be held and that will have the winners in the country summit participating and competing at the regional summit,” she said.