Youth for Gender Equality Foundation Announces Successful Completion of Youth and Women in Politics Training Retreat


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The Youth for Gender Equality Foundation is proud to announce the successful completion of an intensive training retreat aimed at preparing young people and women for political office. This pivotal event took place from April 8-10 at the Botswana National Youth Council (BNYC) facilities in Gaborone.

This unique training, a collaborative effort under the reciprocal exchange program, was hosted by Baboloki Semele, Founder and Trustee of the Youth for Gender Equality Foundation and a 2023 Mandela Washington Fellowship alumni under the Civic Engagement track from the Presidential Precinct.

The program was also in partnership with Samyuktha Mahadevan, Programs Manager at the Karsh Institute of Democracy, University of Virginia. The campaign retreat, funded by a generous $5,000 grant from the U.S. Department of State, focused on equipping 30 selected participants with the necessary skills and knowledge to effectively run for political office.

The funding provided covered lodging and transportation for the U.S. expert, while venue support was provided by the BNYC and participant certificates sponsored by Limkokwing University of Creative Technology. Throughout the three-day event, participants engaged in a series of workshops and sessions designed to enhance their understanding of the political landscape, with a special focus on overcoming the barriers that traditionally hinder youth and women from entering politics.

The program culminated in a vibrant call from participants to expand the training to different constituencies across Botswana, demonstrating the eagerness and readiness of youth and women to pursue political roles.

One of the key outcomes of the retreat was a consensus among participants on the need for reform in the allocation of specially elected seats for MPs, advocating for these seats to be equally split between women and youth to ensure balanced representation and inclusivity.

“The engagement and enthusiasm displayed by all the participants were truly inspiring,” said Baboloki Semele, Founder and Trustee of Youth for Gender Equality Foundation.

“This retreat not only equipped potential young and female leaders with crucial skills but also sparked a broader conversation on how we can create more inclusive political environments.”

The Youth for Gender Equality Foundation thanks all partners and sponsors for their support in making this event a success and looks forward to continuing its efforts to empower young individuals and women in Botswana and beyond.