Botswana: Symposium Empowers Women in Service On GBV

Francistown — As part of the ongoing 16 days of activism against Gender-Based Violence (GBV) on women and children campaign, female officers in the security and health sectors got together for a two-day symposium to see how best they can address the challenge.

Speaking at the symposium in Francistown recently, the Botswana Police Service (BPS) Women Police Network Champion, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Goitseone Ngono said gender based violence affected everyone either as victims or service providers. ACP. Ngono commended women in service for their work in curbing violence on a daily basis.

However, she noted that in their quest to end violence, they should create a balance in their lives to be visible in the community.

"As we take care of others, let us not forget that our wellness is also a priority," she said.

Ms Ngono further said that the country's national anthem echoed a reminder that the issue of women arising was a continuing agenda for the country. She also added that women should never stop their commitment to pushing the women and girlchild empowerment agenda.

The Assistant Commissioner also noted that as the BPS Women Police Network, the government had been supportive in their agendas to end violence and promote gender equality.

She noted that government had domesticated various regional and international instruments, which she said was an indication of commitment to achieving gender equality and equity.

She emphasised the need to ensure women's full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision making.

She also added that the national value of the proportion of women in managerial positions was at 34 per cent. She said the percentage was relatively low in spite of all that was being done to enable and create favourable environments for women and girls.

"I, therefore, challenge you women to fully engage during the two-day deliberations and reflect on issues that hinder advancement and development of women," she said.

ACP. Ngono urged women in service to create lasting collaborations during the symposium and ensure that they disseminate information back to their respective institutions.

Contributing on the challenges faced by women in leadership, Police Northern Divisional Commander, Senior Assistant Commissioner Cynthia Setilo noted that leadership was not an easy role."Being a woman and a leader creates a lot of conflicts and raises questions. Often times, people question our capability to lead," she added.

The SACP noted that police officers were the most harshly judged.However, she advised other women in the professional security and health sectors to remain resolute with their integrity and have the courage to act in line with principles amidst the challenges.

She added that as women in service, their role was always to set an example as they bring law offenders to justice.

She further said that as leaders, life challenges would gnaw their flesh but they should not let them touch their soul.

From the Botswana Prisons Services, clinical psychologist, Ms Khana Phuduhudu said their role as service providers of both rehabilitation and safety to prisoners was not an easy task in a male-dominated sector.

She noted that certain jobs were allocated to males mainly due to their physique. However, she applauded the Botswana Police Services for doing well in gender equality issues as they have a women deputy commissioner.

Ms Phuduhudu advised women in service to see challenges as tests that motivate them to perform better.

The symposium was sponsored by Mascom Wireless.

<i>Source : BOPA</i>

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