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Makgato rings changes at BDP Women Wing

Dorcas Makgato wants Women Wing to influence party policy   

Newly elected Chairperson of the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Women’s Wing, Dorcas Makgato has vowed to have the most active and influential women’s wing during her tenure at helm of the party organ.   


Following her ascendency to the leadership of the Women Wing last month, Makgato told the media this week that there would be some reforms introduced to the Women Wing as the organ strives for influence over the party and its central committee. By virtue of her position, Makgato will sit on the party’s Central Committee.


Part of the reforms, she said, include the introduction of the General Assembly which will convene every year after the election of the women’s wing committee members. Makgato said the development was as a result of the recognition that BDP women need to engage more regularly to address issues relating to party policy and others.


“The BDP women wing has also committed to embark on empowerment training, developing a finance and investment strategy, rolling out a recruitment drive as well as engaging in social investment activities,” she said.


Initially the BDP women’s wing met only during the elective congress, which Makgato said led to a lot of inactivity. Makgato, who is also Minister of Health, said it is important that women are empowered through political education to ensure that they play a meaningful role in Botswana politics.


BDP has come under heavy criticism for failing to formulate policies and laws that empower women to play a meaningful role in politics through representation in parliament and councils. BDP has only four female Members of Parliament, one, Dr Unity Dow having been brought to the law making house through the Special Nomination dispensation.


With BDP having received the worst popular vote in its entire history last year, Makgato wants the Women’s Wing to also take charge of increasing the party visibility in constituencies.


Makgato said as part of the new committee’s agenda which includes creating additional organizational structures at regional and national level, the women’s wing will audit BDP women structures as well as identify and profile BDP talent to serve as role models to younger women in politics.


The former Trade Minister said they will have some events which are not partisan to attract new members into the BDP folder.


The newly elected committee met President Khama this week to introduce themselves.


The ascendency of Makgato to the Chairpersonship of the Women’s Wing comes at a time when the party is readying itself for the elective congress in July in which scores of BDP heavy weights are jostling for influential party positions. Makgato has however refused to be drawn into announcing which candidates her committee will be throwing their weight behind.   


Since being appointed Specially Elected MP following the 2009 general elections, Makgato has proved to be one of Khama’s trusted and performing cabinet members.

Makgato joined BDP from Botswana Export Development Investment Agency, (now Botswana Investment Trade Centre) and was immediately appointed Assistant Minister of Trade and Industry but later took over as a full Minister following the ill health of the then Minister, the late Baledzi Gaolathe.


During the past general elections, Makgato contested for Sefhare-Ramokgonami constituency and won against Dr Kesitigile Gobotswang of Botswana Congress Party (BCP). She was then moved to Ministry of Health following the appointment of the new cabinet.

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Civil society could rescue Botswana’s flawed democracy’ 

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