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Gender Equality Policy
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The Policy was adopted by Parliament in 1996 with the understanding that all Batswana and their organisations would own and implement it. (This Policy has been reviewed and a draft Gender Policy developed).

The National Gender Programme Framework was launched in 1998.    

CEDAW - THE CONVENTION ON THE ELIMINATION OF ALL FORMS OF DISCRIMINATION AGAINST WOMEN

Consultations on the production of the CEDAW report are complete. The report has been submitted to the Ministry.

Botswana acceded to the CEDAW in 1996.  Botswana has also acceded to the Optional Protocol on the CEDAW.  The Optional Protocol is a monitoring and evaluation instrument for the CEDAW. Botswana is also party to The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).

The SADC Declaration on Gender and Development (1997) and its Addendum on Violence against Women.

SADC Member States have noted a slow and gradual increase, and in some instances a decrease in the number of women in decision making positions. This campaign played a critical role in building and strengthening partnership that aimed at ensuring women’s equal participation in decision making to at least 50% by 2020, and in upgrading the 1997 SADC Declaration on Gender and Development to a Protocol on Accelerating Gender Equality in SADC.

A Regional Task Force consisting of Botswana, Lesotho and Mauritius was set up to facilitate the process of the upgrading of the SADC Declaration into a Protocol.  The Women's Affairs Department represented Botswana in the SADC Task Force, and as a result facilitates the National consultative process on the Draft Protocol in Botswana.

A National Workshop was held, through the assistance of the Fredrich Ebert Foundation (FES), on 19 – 20 March 2007 at Botsalo Hotel, Palapye.  The main objective of the workshop was to consolidate as well as finalise inputs from Districts and Regional fora on the draft SADC Gender Protocol.  However, Districts that were not able to attend sent written comments. A maximum of sixty people were invited but only twenty-seven turned.

All the regions of Botswana held meetings on the Draft SADC Protocol.  The Mahalapye Sub-Districts conducted a preliminary consultation seminar on 28 February 2007 at Mahalapye. 

The Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (Botswana has not acceded to this Protocol yet).

The African Gender and Development Index

After more than 10 years of implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action, African States are faced with a challenge of effectively accessing the impact of their intervention strategies regarding this platform.  In the endeavour to assist Governments in addressing this challenge, the Economic Commission for African (ECA) developed an effective monitoring mechanism known as the African Gender and Development Index (AGDI).  This tool promotes the adoption of indicators that will assist in measuring progress in the implementation of various gender and development instruments by African countries.

The AGDI is a composite index made up of two parts.  The first part is known as the Gender Status Index (GSI) and it captures quantitatively measurable issues related to gender equality in social, political and economic spheres.  The second part is known as the African Women’s Progress Scoreboard (AWPS) and it measures Government policy performance regarding women’s advancement and empowerment.  It tracks government progress in rectifying and effectively implementing relevant conventions on gender equality and women’s advancement in the following areas:  Social, economic and political issues, including women’s rights.

Botswana is among the several African states that have been selected to pilot the implementation of the AGDI.  The Women's Affairs Department has facilitated the establishment of a National Advisory Panel that will serve to provide intellectual guidance and advice regarding the implementation of the AGDI in Botswana.  The next step in the process involves a visit by the ECA team to Botswana to officially launch the Panel and kick-start the process.  The Department is yet to get confirmation of dates of the visit by the ECA team. 

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