Capacity Enhancement for the Political Advancement of Women

Capacity Enhancement for the Political Advancement of Women

“Go ruta Mosadi ke go ruta Sechaba”


Democracy Works Foundation Botswana, together with the US Embassy in Botswana, launched a pioneering programme, Capacity Enhancement for the Political Advancement of Women (CEPAW), under the Democracy Works Foundation Academy in Botswana.


The Academy and training programme was launched on the 18th of October 2021, at Ave Maria Pastoral Centre, in a well-attended ceremony with guests comprising the US Embassy, political party leaders and the IEC.


Following the elections held in October 2019, only 7 out of 65 parliamentarians (representing 9.5%) are women. However, of the seven, four came through presidential nomination, meaning only three women managed to secure their seats through elections. In 2004, Botswana obtained the highest representation of women in parliament, although this was a meagre 17%. Women account for only 11% of seats following the 2019 elections for the local government level. Since 1965, no woman has ever been put forward as a presidential candidate by any political party.


CEPAW programme aims to increase the role and influence of women participating in political institutions and decision-making in Botswana by building a platform for the emergence of women political leaders and strengthening the capacity of current women’s networks and groups across the political spectrum.CEPAW emerges from the growing recognition of women’s untapped ability and potential and women’s leadership. The value of women’s political participation has been proven tangible gains for democracy, including more excellent responsiveness to citizen needs, increased cooperation across party and ethnic lines and a more sustainable future.


Despite these benefits, in Botswana, women are under-represented in political and decision-making processes affecting their lives and livelihoods.