It is widely believed and emphasised that women are better life managers than men. It is even further applied for, that women have incredible capacity to withstand pressure and use their nature-given emotional intelligence to effectively juggle their multiple roles.
It thus, does not come as a puzzle that the newly elected Kweneng District Council Vice Chairperson proposed that there was need to mobilise a ‘think tank’, constituting of women, men and youth across the political divide. This would develop and oversee the implementation of gender equality in the critical area of politics and decision making.
Tshepo Chape-Wareus, the first woman to occupy the post in the district said in an interview that gender inequality is at the root of many of Botswana’s development challenges.
“The positive values and ethics that have shaped our society from time immemorial have sadly been eroded with negative impacts on the country’s social fabric and gender equality,“ said Wareus. She said that her being elected in the leadership of the Kweneng District Council would give her a lot of joy and pride if the council chamber is transformed into a neutral, engaging political space where debates are meaningful and contribute to the positive development of the district.
She said women’s representation in private, public and parastatals sectors has to some extent been achieved.
“In the area of politics, however, the gaps and challenges are huge. There is need for serious turn-around strategies. All political parties need to fully embrace the concept of power-sharing and take concrete actions for women to take their rightful place in the political arena, “she said.
She defined the decision to elect her to be part of a huge, and as with most, male-dominated district as indeed a positive development. It is also a good sign along the long road to achieving gender equality. Her being elected, she said also indicates how her male colleagues are increasingly recognizing gender as an important development variable.
She is looking forward to seeing lots of improvements in the areas of projects planning, implementation and evaluation.
“We need to go back to the drawing board to ensure effective participation, full consultation of the citizenry, particularly at the community level. Implementation, monitoring and evaluation need to be seriously strengthened. Capacity building for the council leadership remains a critical need for the effective implementation of their roles and responsibilities,” she explained.
She said numerous challenges exist in service delivery and de-motivation within the public service is rife. There is need to develop more effective strategies to motivate council human resources to enhance performance and over all workplace productivity.
To critics of councillors’ nominations, Wareus said principles that underpin the exercise are noble in that nomination was done to fill the necessary gaps in skills, expertise and experience.
Tshepo Regina Chape-Wareus won the Vice Chairmanship after being specially nominated. She comes from a family of politicians. She said, “Both my parents were staunch BDP activists so I was born and raised in a household filled with politics. I got involved in politics during my early years of high school. Being active in the then emerging youth wing of the BDP, I rose through the rank and files of the ruling party and served on numerous committees – youth, women, constituency and sub committees of the central committee. I was at one point a Councillor.”
To women who aspire for political office, Wareus advised them to be hard workers, focused, committed, honest, of integrity and humble as these are ingredients of success across careers, including politics. She further advised women legislators to lobby and advocate for the signing of the SADC gender protocol that the government of Botswana is reluctant to sign