Botswana: Botswana Police Service observed International Women’s Day in Gaborone yesterday (08/03/2023) under the theme “DigitALL, Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality”.
In his statement to mark the celebration, the Acting Commissioner of Police, Mr Phemelo Ramakorwane, appreciated and applauded women police officers for their positive influence and exceptional service to the organisation. He also extended gratitude to the female police pioneers for charting a challenging course in the then-hostile environment and breaking through opposing barriers to become exemplary leaders.
The Acting Commissioner acknowledged that the BPS had made great strides in increasing women’s representation, as 30% of females make up the workforce.
The Acting Commissioner stated that to fast-track and close the inequality gaps within the organisation, Botswana Police Service (BPS) has, among others, created a formalised leadership and mentoring programme for young women police officers, removed barriers for the female cadre to navigate the profession and provision of necessary training, skills and competencies.
Reflecting on the theme, Mr Ramakorwane noted that the BPS had made progress in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). He added that the organisation continues to empower female officers in various fields and now commands a significant number of women pilots, aircraft mechanics, software engineers, cyber forensics experts, forensic scientists, pathologists, electricians and fingerprint experts, among others.
Speaking at the event organised by No.3 Police District, Ms Botho Ntswaneng, a psychotherapist at Botho Speaks, said the theme emphasised the importance of leveraging innovation and technology to advance gender equality and empower women and the girl child. She also spoke of the critical role that digital technologies play in closing the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) gender gap and creating new opportunities for women and girls in education, employment, and leadership.
Ms Ntswaneng encouraged female police officers to have confidence, self-belief and appreciate themselves, stating that believing in oneself helps an individual to pursue goals and be able to overcome obstacles. She implored the officers to work harder in claiming their stake in a dominant male sphere, despite the 30% quota that Governments and corporations set aside in elevating women.
She said it was significant to appreciate the role of female police officers in the fight against crime, stating that they have demonstrated selflessness, resilience and courage despite life-threatening situations that come with their job. Ms Ntswaneng urged the participants to continue being the backbones of the nation both in the workplace and at their homes.
For his part, Mr Victor Billy Phologolo, who is a Labour Consultant at Phologolo Attorneys, said that there is inequality, especially in workplaces the world over, a fact that even the International Labour Organisation acknowledges. He urged the Acting Commissioner to consider increasing the number of female police officers in leadership positions.