News & Events

Our blog is where you'll find all our project updates,highlights and achievements, as well as other news and events related to Botswana Speaks Parliamentary Initiative.

Botswana Speaks Parliamentary Initiative proudly presents its 3rd Newsletter Issue!

The Botswana Speaks Parliamentary Initiative is now running its pilot phase and all Batswana are invited to sign up, to view ongoing polls, to discuss and debate issues that concern them!

These past months have been very fruitful for the project. Among other activities undertaken, the initiative was successfully presented in various international conferences in Africa, United States and Europe and a lot of interest and visibility was raised. Concurrently, meetings with local authorities in the four pilot constituencies were on focus during this period as a way to raise awareness about the launch of the pilot phase. Media outlets in Botswana like Mmegi and Daily News covered the launch of the pilot phase and qualified Botswana Speaks as an interactive platform that leads to better constituency services.

Enjoy our newsletter issue and get updated on the project’s news, upcoming events and other relevant news! Stay always abreast of the project’s news by following us on social media!

The latest issue is available here

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Parliament launches Botswana Speaks website: Article on Mmegi

Mmegi published yesterday an article on the fact that the Parliament of Botswana has launched the Botswana Speaks website, a pilot participatory initiative that will allow the public to interact with their elected representatives online and via Short Messasing System (sms).

Speaking at a press conference on Monday ahead of the launch South East South MP, who also chairs the Parliamentary Committee on Works, Transport and ICT, Odirile Motlhale said some of the objectives of the project are to get citizens better connected with their representatives and to give citizens opportunities to get involved with the national decision-making process.

"It will allow the public to participate in debates going on in Parliament. Say Parliament is debating a bill, the public will be able to comment on it using either the website or sms," Motlhale said.Motlhale said the project, which cost over P6 million, is part of Parliament's e-parliament strategy, which encourages the use of ICT to better serve electorates.

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Africa: How African Feminism Changed the World

On the occassion of the International Women's Day 2013 on March 8th, Think Africa Press published an interesting analysis argumenting on how african feminism changed the world. Women's movements in Africa have come a long way over the past half century or so. In the first three decades after independence, women's organisations were often tied to the patronage politics of the single-party state and tended to focus on welfare, domestic and developmental concerns whilst avoiding political engagement. At the grassroots level, women's groups produced handicrafts, promoted literacy, farmed, engaged in income-generating projects, and engaged in cultural activities.

The 1985 UN Conference on Women held in Nairobi and especially the 1995 UN Conference on Women in Beijing served as catalysts for many organisations and activists. International donors, weary of state corruption and waste, began to shift resources towards non-governmental organisations, including women's associations.At the same time, women activists became involved in democratisation movements, which, in turn, opened up political space for women's mobilisation.

With time, women's organisations became increasingly independent of government and the dominant political party. Women activists began to acquire their own resources, select their own leaders, and forge their own agendas. New women's networks and conferences organised around violence against women, peace, the environment, and reproductive rights.

In Africa, the term "feminism" has often carried with it the baggage of being regarded as a Western and foreign construct. However, this is rapidly changing as feminism itself has been increasingly redefined by women leaders in Africa to suit their own purposes.

Moreover, the future seems really bright if someone considers that Rwandan women now hold 56% of the country's legislative seats. In Senegal, Seychelles and South Africa, more than 40% of parliamentary seats are held by women, while in Mozambique, Angola, Tanzania and Uganda more than 35% of the seats are occupied by women.

There are female speakers of the house in one fifth of African parliaments, which is higher than the world average of 14%. But beneath these statistics lies an even greater success: Unlike many other rights, which are dictated from a top-down international (and often Western) level, Africa has actively enhanced global understandings of feminism.

 

Read here the original article

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