President Lt Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama says Botswana has made significant progress on gender and development in the 20 years of the 1995 Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action as well as the close of the Millennium Goals.
Delivering the State-of-the-Nation-Address yesterday (October 9), President Khama said gender mainstreaming had also been adopted as a key strategy for the achievement of gender equality.
The approach, President Khama said, recognised that both men and women must be involved in the development process in order to effectively address the root cause of gender inequality for sustainable development.
“In recognition of the above, Parliament adopted the National Policy on Gender and Development in August this year,” he said.
The policy, he added, aimed to reduce inequalities in opportunities and outcomes of social, economic, political, cultural and legal development for both women and men.
He said the policy further aimed to establish a framework for implementing and institutionalising gender equality initiatives with strong mechanisms for coordination, mentoring and evaluation.
President Khama also said in order to accelerate participation of women in the mainstream economy, the women’s economic empowerment programme was being reviewed to include individual women, women groups, community projects and cooperatives.
He also added that the funding ceiling had also been revised to P100 000 for individuals and P500 000 for community projects and cooperatives, and that efforts to support women in accessing markets were to also continue.
“Regarding the elimination and prevention of gender based violence, the government has developed a National Gender Based Violence Strategy (2014-2020), which outlines the multi-sectoral and multi prolonged approach,” he said.