“Think equal, build smart, innovate for change” says Botswana in commemorating International Women’s Day as a transformative action for Universal Health Coverage
Gaborone, Botswana - 8 March 2019: The Botswana WCO joined the rest of the world to commemorate the International Women’s Day on the 8th March 2019 as part of its commitment to end all forms of discrimination and violence against women and girls.
Dr Martins OVBEREDJO,WR Botswana emphasised that the 2019 commemoration theme of “Think equal, build smart, innovate for change” should be used as a transformative platform for UHC and resolving gender-based differences relating to health needs, risk behaviours, power and control over resources and information, and access to health services. He promised to take concrete steps to improve and deepen gender empowerment in the WCO. He also challenged all male staff members to be vigilant and support the creation of an enabling environment that will enhance female staff members to flourish in the WCO. The male staff members affirmed the call and promised to take necessary actions.
Dr OVBEREDJO indicated that Botswana has made tremendous strides towards attaining gender parity through UHC and closing the health and survival gender gap as per the 2018 Global Gender Gap Report.
The Botswana WCO has fully adopted one of the Technical Key Performance Indicators with regard to leadership outcome of (Gender, equity, and rights) – where gender balance is the key measure in mainstreaming gender equality in all programs and operations including institutions.
Mainstreaming gender equality will ensure that the WCO confront some of the cultural, lifestyle risk factors that contribute to the increasing prevalence of non-communicable diseases among women in Botswana.
The WCO is committed to the Regional Director, Dr Matshidiso Moeti‘s clarion call for gender equality and women empowerment to be used as a catalyst to improve health outcomes for women and girls so they can realize their potential and contribute to transformative socioeconomic and political development in the Africa region.