The Global Gender Gap Index report 2020 released this week has ranked Botswana in the bottom 20 countries in the world with “pitiable” political empowerment.
The report which is published annually by World Economic Forum, graded Botswana “number 135 out of 153 countries” in the world in as far as enabling equal participation of women in political environment is concerned. In the study, Botswana scored a paltry 0.079 on an average score of 0.239 amongst countries in the world. In relation to women specifically in Parliament, Botswana scored poorly at 0.105, an average country score of 0.298, thereby standing at position 138 out of 153 countries.
Females recorded in Botswana Parliament were “9.5% as opposed to men legislators at a whopping 90.5%.” The World Economic Forum report states that in terms of women in Ministerial positions, it recorded 99 out of the 153 countries, with a score of 0.188 on an average of 0.255. In terms of percentage, “women stood at 15.8% over men’s 84.2%.” In the category of years with female or male head of State over the last 50 years, Botswana was placed at 73 out of 153 with a score of 0.000 over an average 0.190.
There was never a female President in Botswana, and therefore at the classification, it was graded 0%. Botswana, with regard to political empowerment, remains in bottom 20, with countries like Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Iran, Papua New Guinea, Yemen, Gambia and Lebanon. The world report, acknowledges that, across the four sub-indexes, on average, the largest gender disparity is—once again—the Political Empowerment gap.
With regard to the Political Empowerment sub-index, 108 countries of the 149 covered in both current and last year’s editions have improved their overall scores, driven mainly by a significant increase in the number of women in parliaments compared to the last assessment. “Nonetheless, to date only 25% of these 35,127 global seats are occupied by women and only 21% of the 3,343 ministers are women; and in some countries, women are not represented at all,” reports states.
In addition, over the past 50 years, in 85 of the 153 countries covered by the report there has never been a female head of state. In parallel to improving representation of women among political leaders, study concedes that the number of women in senior roles within the Economic Participation and Opportunity dimension has also increased.
Globally, 36% of senior private sector’s managers and public sector’s officials are women (about 2% higher than the figure reported last year). Despite this progress, the gap to close on this aspect remains substantial as only a handful of countries are approaching parity. The report points out that in contrast to the slow but positive progress in terms of leadership positions, women’s participation in the labour market is stalling and financial disparities are slightly larger (on average), explaining the step back registered by the Economic Participation and Opportunity sub index this year.
“On average, only 55% of adult women are in the labour market, versus 78% of men, while over 40% of the wage gap (the ratio of the wage of a woman to that of a man in a similar position) and over 50% of the income gap (the ratio of the total wage and non-wage income of women to that of men) are still to be bridged,” it highlights. Further, it says in many countries, women are significantly disadvantaged in accessing credit, land or financial products, which prevents opportunities for them to start a company or make a living by managing assets.
The analysis presented in the Global Gender Gap Report 2020, which is committed to improving the state of the world, is based on a methodology integrating the latest statistics from international organizations and a survey of executives. “This year’s report highlights the growing urgency for action. Without the equal inclusion of half of the world’s talent, we will not be able to deliver on the promise of the Fourth Industrial Revolution for all of society, grow our economies for greater shared prosperity or achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals,” the world study posits.
At the present rate of change, it further observes that it will take nearly a century to achieve parity, a timeline we simply cannot accept in today’s globalised world, especially among younger generations who hold increasingly progressive views of gender equality. Despite (political empowerment) being the most improved dimension this year (driving the overall positive performance) only a mere 24.7% of the global Political Empowerment gap has been closed in 2020.
Since 2006 the Global Gender Gap Index has been measuring the extent of gender-based gaps among four key dimensions (Economic Participation and Opportunity, Educational Attainment, Health and Survival, and Political Empowerment) and tracking progress towards closing these gaps over time. This year’s edition of the report benchmarks 153 countries and provides country rankings that allow for effective comparisons across and within regional peers.
The methodology and quantitative analysis behind the rankings are intended to serve as a basis for designing effective measures for reducing gender gaps. The methodology of the index has remained stable since its original conception in 2006, providing a basis for robust cross-country and time-series analysis.
Iceland, once again has been ranked the most gender-equal country in the world for the 11th time in a row. It has closed almost 88% of its overall gender gap, further improving since last year. Iceland is followed by Norway (2nd, 84.2%), Finland (3rd, 83.2%) and Sweden (4th, 82.0%). Other economies in the top 10 include Nicaragua (5th, 80.4%), New Zealand (6th, 79.9%), Ireland (7th, 79.8%), Spain (8th, 79.5%), Rwanda (9th, 79.1%) and Germany (10th, 78.7%).
While there is no hard-and-fast rule in politics, former Molepolole North Member of Parliament, Mohamed Khan says populism acts in the body politic have forced him to quit active partisan politics. He brands this ancient ascription of politics as fake and says it lowers the moral compass of the society.
Khan who finally tasted political victory in the 2014 elections after numerous failed attempts, has decided to leave the ‘dirty game’, and on his way out he characteristically lashed at the current political leaders; including his own party president, Advocate Duma Boko. “I arrived at this decision because I have noticed that there are no genuine politics and politicians. The current leaders, Boko and President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi are fake politicians who are just practicing populist politics to feed their egos,” he said.
Former Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) parliamentary hopeful, Lawrence Ookeditse has rejected the idea of taking up a crucial role in the Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) Central Committee following his arrival in the party this week. According to sources close to development, BPF power brokers are coaxing Ookeditse to take up the secretary general position, left vacant by death of Roseline Panzirah-Matshome in November 2020.
Ookeditse’s arrival at BPF is projected to cause conflicts, as some believe they are being overlooked, in favour of a new arrival. The former ruling party strategist has however ruled out the possibility of serving in the party central committee as secretary general, and committed that he will turn down the overture if availed to him by party leadership.
Ookeditse, nevertheless, has indicated that if offered another opportunity to serve in a different capacity, he will gladly accept. “I still need to learn the party, how it functions and all its structures; I must be guided, but given any responsibility I will serve the party as long as it is not the SG position.”
“I joined the BPF with a clear conscious, to further advance my voice and the interests of the constituents of Nata/Gweta which I believe the BDP is no longer capable to execute.” Ookeditse speaks of abject poverty in his constituency and prevalent unemployment among the youth, issues he hopes his new home will prioritise.
He dismissed further allegations that he resigned from the BDP because he was not rewarded for his efforts towards the 2019 general elections. After losing in the BDP primaries in 2018, Ookeditse said, he was offered a job in government but declined to take the post due to his political ambitions. Ookeditse stated that he rejected the offer because, working for government clashed with his political journey.
He insists there are many activists who are more deserving than him; he could have chosen to take up the opportunity that was before him but his conscious for the entire populace’s wellbeing held him back. Ookeditse said there many people in the party who also contributed towards party success, asserting that he only left the BDP because he was concerned about the greater good of the majority not individualism purposes.
According to observers, Ookeditse has been enticed by the prospects of contesting Nata/Gweta constituency in the 2024 general election, following the party’s impressive performance in the last general elections. Nata/Gweta which is a traditional BDP stronghold saw its numbers shrinking to a margin of 1568. BDP represented by Polson Majaga garnered 4754, while BPF which had fielded Joe Linga received 3186 with UDC coming a distant with 1442 votes.
There are reports that Linga will pave way for Ookeditse to contest the constituency in 2024 and the latter is upbeat about the prospects of being elected to parliament. Despite Ookeditse dismissing reports that he is eying the secretary general position, insiders argue that the position will be availed to him nevertheless.
Alternative favourite for the position is Vuyo Notha who is the party Deputy Secretary General. Notha has since assumed duties of the secretariat office on the interim basis. BPF politburo is expected to meet on 25th of January 2020, where the vacancy will be filled.
Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) big wigs have decided to cancel a retreat with the party legislators this weekend owing to increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases. The meeting was billed for this weekend at a place that was to be confirmed, however a communique from the party this past Tuesday reversed the highly anticipated meeting.
“We received a communication this week that the meeting will not go as planned because of rapid spread of Covid-19,” one member of the party Central Committee confirmed to this publication. The gathering was to follow the first of its kind held late last year at party Treasurer Satar Dada’s place.