June 14, 2024
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Ex-Botswana minister talks about sexual harassment on the job

Economist Bogolo Kenewendo made the headlines five years ago after becoming, at 30, Botswana’s trade minister and one of the youngest, if not the youngest, government ministers in the world.

She is now the UN Climate Champion’s Special Advisor for Africa.

But in an interview with the BBC Focus on Africa podcast, she has spoken about the sexual harassment and discrimination faced by women at the top of politics.

Looking back at her 19 months in the job she spoke about how she “survived the environment”.

“When you’re a young woman in such a space there are a lot of innuendos – how you got the job – but even those who you work with, fighting off sexual advances or even harassment in some cases.

“There was a severe case that happened and I reported it to my principals and there was action,” she told the BBC’s Audrey Brown without going into more detail.

“What surprised me was that they thought it was an isolated case, which it wasn’t. They quickly learnt that it wasn’t an isolated case and so it was taken care of.”

She added that as a result she felt empowered to bring bills to parliament that dealt with the protection of women and children.

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