08.03.24-CELEBRATION OF INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH AND WOMEN’S DAY – “BA BEREKA BASADI”

The theme for this International Women’s Day “Invest in Women to Accelerate Progress”, is a deeply significant and profound one. The theme recognizes the essentiality of investing in Women in order to accelerate social, economic progress and sustainable development for the achievement of prosperous and just economies and healthy planets. Despite the many contributions of Women in society, gender equality remains one of the highest human rights challenges in a world where structural inequalities place Women at the centre of any crisis – bearing the highest risk. While Women continue to break barriers, dismantle stereotypes, nurture and drive progress towards a more just and inclusive society, Women and girls continue to face injustice, discrimination, marginalization and sexual and gender-based violence, in a highly patriarchal society.

The reality is that Women have always been at the forefront of economic development and the intersection between productive and reproductive sectors. One needs only look at social reproduction, which refers to the range of activities, behaviours, responsibilities and relationships that ensure the daily and generational social, emotional, moral and physical reproduction of people”, to properly understand HER contribution. Social reproduction speaks to the labour needed for the everyday upkeep of societies, including but not limited to, labour involved in social provisioning or voluntary work which meets the needs of communities, paid and unpaid domestic and care work, domestic and reproductive labour, family care, effective labour and sexual and emotional services (P. Kotiswaran, 2023). The investment in Women to accelerate progress includes the recognition of the many roles played by Women, the representation of Women in leadership positions and active steps to close the gender pay gap that persist.

This Women’s history month and Women’s day, BONELA joins the world in paying homage to the contributions of Women to society, development, and to the health, human rights and gender equity space. BONELA commends the work of all Women in Botswana and calls on the Botswana government to keep Women on the country’s agenda through gender-responsive financing, and the support of feminist change-makers in sectors across the country. Leaving no one behind sounds the call to ensure that Women and young girls, in hard to reach areas, are able to access health, social and human rights services, and includes taking the services to the people in instances where they are inaccessible. Young girls and Women living with disabilities lack targeted and customized programmes and services that are responsive to their needs – some of which include access to information about their rights and how to enforce them. In closing the digital divide, technology can be used as a tool to inform and build better futures for young Women and girls while combating some of the mounting risks associated with cyberviolence.

Although Women and girls, including those disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS, continue to demand for gender equity and equality, it is through the work of stay at home mothers – some of who come from female headed household, women in the informal sector, industrial and mining sectors, corporate Botswana, education sector, the care economy and the health and human rights sector, that the country continues to be driven, by women, towards prosperity. BONELA is proud to reaffirm its commitment to every Woman and Girl in the quest for a better, progressive and prosperous society.

As we commemorate this International Women’s Day, we must also acknowledge that many Women and Girls in the Global South countries of the Occupied Palestine, Congo and Sudan are experiencing Genocide with the accompanying and disproportionate threat of death, disablement, rape and sexual violence, disease, malnutrition and starvation. Additionally, Queer and Gender-non-conforming Women and Girls are being targeted by a Bill that was assented to by the Ghanaian Parliament, that criminalizes their existence and denies them basic and fundamental human rights. Repressive Laws and Genocide ultimately deprives us of the benefit of the collective and individual potential of all such Women and Girls, further delaying our progress towards a better World. These horrors are simply unacceptable and we must collectively pledge to do all that we can, through whatever means at our disposal, to put an immediate end to them and ensure that they never happen again. A better more inclusive World is achievable right now and we will see it in our lifetimes!

For more information, contact:

Katlego Sechele
Programs Coordinator
EMAIL: ksechele@bonela.org | Cell: +267 72282025

AND

Tlamelo ‘Mmamohlakoana Mothudi
Advocacy Officer
EMAIL: tlamelom@bonela.org | Cell: +267 75569078/ WhatsApp: +27 71 256 8254