Gender Equality Critical to Development

| November 24, 2014 | 0 Comments

Gender equality plays a critical role in the country’s ambition of achieving sustainable development.

The BCL general manager, Mr Dan Mahupela said at the commemoration of the International Men’s Day in Selebi Phikwe recently said by making gender equality one of the fundamental objectives of Botswana’s political, social and economic agenda to eradicate poverty, improve the health sector and enhance economic growth and democratic governance, this country would be assured to grow steadily to another level.

However, Mr Mahupela, who is also the chairperson of the Selebi Phikwe Economic Diversification Unit (SPEDU) board, said men should also be recognised as key players towards achieving such goals.

He said Batswana need to reflect on the contributions, sacrifices and progress made by men in society.

“The objectives of the International Men’s Day include a focus on men’s and boys’ health improving gender relations, promoting gender equality, and highlighting positive male role models.

It is an occasion for men to celebrate their achievements and contributions, in particular their contributions to community, family, marriage, and child care, while highlighting the discrimination against them,” he said.

He said to this end, the Constitution of Botswana provides for the right to equality for both women and men within their families, communities and societies.

In April 2013, government changed the name of the women’s affairs department to gender affairs department, which was a deliberate move to ensure that the needs of women and men are adequately addressed, he said.

Government, he said, recognises the contribution made by women and men in national development, and seeks better ways to address challenges that are before men as they strive to achieve the goal of gender equality. “While on this endeavour, we need to have men that are healthy in all aspects of their lives. There has however been a general observation that men have poor habits regarding their health.

They also have poor habits regarding family reproductive health,” he said.

He said in order for men to be positively involved as fathers and carers, there is need for them to be fit and healthy in all their faculties and this can only be ascertained by qualified practitioners, who can assess their health status.

“By paying attention to our health as men, we would be laying the foundation of a healthy nation for our children, who mostly view us as their role models.

With this in mind, let us up our game, and take stern measures to ensure our health becomes a priority in our lives,” he said.

Mr Mahupela raised a concern that the life expectancy of men as compared to women is low.

He said men’s life expectancy has been declining from 63.3 years in 1991, to 52 in 2001 and 48.8 in 2006 while that of women has shown some increase.

He said in 1991 the female’s life expectancy was 67.1 years and it declined to 57.4 in 2001, but increased to 60 in 2006.

“We are still awaiting recent findings and one can only predict that women’s life expectancy would still exceed that of their male counterparts,” he said.

“This may, to some extent, be attributed to the fact that women take cognizance of their health status and as such seek medical attention on time.

These figures are revealing and challenge men to rise and take appropriate action for the goodness of their wellbeing,” he said.

Source : BOPA

Source : Botswana Daily News

Category: Human Rights

Leave a Reply