Activities ainmed at inclusivity of women, youth and people with disabilities form part of EISA's work to increace the capacity of political parties in Botswana has been undertaken by EISA's Governance Institutions and Political Processes (GIPPS) department, under its political parties programme. The aim is to contribute to an open, inclusive and democratic political system, by strengthening this crucial set of stakeholders in the processes of democratic governance.
Despite some ongoing challenges, the team shifted back to in-person visitations in May and June of 2021. The challenges led to EISA hiring a local consultant who had previously supported the gender audits in Botswana. The consultant was able to asist the GIPPs staff member and all interviews were finalised
12-15 Jan 2021
From 12-15 January, GIPPS held online consultative meetings with five political parties, namely the: Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD), All Progressives (AP), Botswana National Front (BNF), Botswana Congress Party (BCP) and the Botswana Peoples Party (BPP). The consultative meetings provided an opportunity for GIPPS to strategise and solicit party interest in participating in the second phase of the gender audit process which will result in the production of customised gender audit reports for each political party.
All political parties consulted, confirmed their participation and GIPPS is following up with political parties to ensure that they receive the necessary support to complete the questionnaire which is available online through survey monkey. The anticipated outputs of these activities will be comprehensive gender audits and action plans for participating parties on how to strengthen the participation and representation of men, women and youth, and the promotion of more equitable demographics amongst public office bearers in the party.
GIPPS's work under this project on social cohesion and democratic elections has produced a concept paper which will be presented to a group of academics and CSO partners on social cohesion or democratic participation in May 2021. The paper, the outcomes of the online presentation meeting and the development of a research tool into the issue will be the outputs of this activity, due for the end of 2021.
GIPPS commissioned a research paper into better categorising types of political parties in Africa (as a response to the ongoing gender audit work it is conducting, mentioned above). This paper has been finalised by a consultant, and will be discussed by a cross-section of political party academics and experts in April 2021. The paper and a better framework for analysing and understanding the types of political parties that exist in Africa in 2021 will be the outputs of this activity.
26-28 June 2019
Youth and people with disabilities methodology review meeting was held in Johannesburg from 26 - 28 June 2019 and included country partners, as well as staff from EPP and gender experts. Botswana activities had to be deferred due to national elections in 2019.
The gender audit reports which have been drafted for political parties will be discussed with the respective parties beginning in December 2019 and continuing in 2020.
Following successful consultative meetings and workshops with political parties in 2018, GIPPs has continued to update the 'Gender audit and action plans' to include other vulnerable groups, specifically youth and people with disabilities. This work entails amending the survey questionnaires for political parties as well as the related final report templates.
GIPPS held consultative meetings with parliamentary political parties, introducing the parties to the EISA/ODIHR methodology for conducting gender audits, developing action plans to strengthen intra-party democracy within the party and securing the parties' support for the project and participation in the pilot workshops. Subsequently, gender audit workshops were held in Gaborone, Botswana on 6-7 November 2018.
In Botswana current parliamentary parties ensured that multiple representatives from their party were present during the workshops. These representatives included: Executive Committee members, and members from the women's and youth wings of the parties. Feedback from both workshops was extremely positive.
The GIPPs team met with Corien Jonker from ODIHR to discuss the development of a concept and programme to enhance gender partition in political parties using a political party gender auditing tool developed by ODIHR combined with training materials developed by EISA. As a former MP from the Netherlands, Corien's insights on gender participation as well as assistance developing a useful network have been invaluable. GIPPs has started reaching out to political parties to participate in the two workshops/seminars planned.
12-13 Apr 2016
In preparation for a training workshops on "Understanding Gender and Gender budgeting" materials that promote an undersatanding of gender, understanding the different definitions and understanding of gender in different spheres of public life, as well as identifying the nature of the changing priorities amongst women as they progress through diferent stages of life were developed and published. In addition understanding budgets as an instrument of governance, budget analysis and budget prioritisation in favour of expenditure areas that have a high impact on women are explored.
Held on the 12 and 13 April, this workshop was attended by 15 participants including The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD), The Botswana Congress Party (BCP), Botswana National Front (BNF), and the Botswana Peoples Party (BPP). This workshop attracted the participation of the Vice President of Woman's League, Secretary Generals, Deputy Exec Secretaries and Chairpersons of the respective parties. Ten of the participants were women and eight of the participants were below the age of 35.
23-25 Mar 2015
From 23 to 25 March 2015, a training workshop for a cross section of political parties was conducted in Botswana and attended by 16 participants representing four opposition political parties. Amongst the participants were three elected councillors, two MPs and a significant number of young people with nine participants under the age of 35 and 3 of the participants being women. A subsequent workshop was attended by 15 participants from the four opposition political parties in Botswana and attracted the participation of the former Deputy Speaker of Parliament. In this session, six participants were women and nine out of the 15 were below the age of 35. Notable to mention was the absence of the ruling party at both of these training sessions.
In preparation for a training workshops on "Understanding Gender and Gender budgeting" EISA partnered with the Studies in Poverty and Inequality Institute (SPII), who have a team of specialist researchers on budgets and pro poor budgeting strategies to develop training material. This partnership allowed for knowledge-sharing and exposure, and enabled EISA to develop materials that promote an understanding of gender, understanding the different definitions and understanding of gender in different spheres of public life, as well as identifying the nature of the changing priorities amongst women as they progress through different stages of life. In addition understanding budgets as an instrument of governance, budget analysis and budget prioritisation in favour of expenditure areas that have a high impact on women are explored.
EISA in line with creating a platform for the often marginalized structures, and in line with this programme, strengthened the working relationship between EISA and the electoral commission of Botswana.
Mainstream groups which are normally under-represented in political parties, such as women and the youth were brought together in this programme. Unlike in the previous years where the programme activities were mainly located in the city of Gaborone, EISA's programme managed to cover other regions of Botswana namely, Maun, Francis Town, Kasane and Palapye. Activities were attended by regional leaders, campaign managers and other office bearers at the sub-national level. Through this programme, structures perceived to be hierarchical were penetrated allowing for content of the parties to reach the grassroots level. At the end of the workshop series all the structures that took part were able to better engage with the electoral process. At least two party leaders, one from the Botswana Congress party in the Chobe constituency and another from the Botswana National front in Gaborone adopted the EISA training material and used it to run their own training within their constituencies.