Letâ€™s discover a new continent for our last month of action-study: Africa!
We were really excited to go there, since Africa is home to the highest proportion of female mayors. So letâ€™s explore whatâ€™s behind this figure, and see if women feel as welcome as men in the street.
Our first stop: Francistown, the second largest city in Botswana, with 150,000 inhabitants.
To organize this walk, we met with Ma Mosojane, former judge turned social adviser for Francistown’s YWCA.
She had already planned everything, so we just needed to print flyers, mobilize people in Francistown and print about 20 questionnaires!
The meeting was scheduled for 8am, at least thatâ€™s what we thought, but most people showed up at 10am, and so did our escort, the police! But never mind the delay, everyone was still willing to do the walk and to share their experiences in the public space.
We walked for about 1 hour and half, going from the YWCA office to the City Hall, walking through both the suburbs and the city center.
We were struck by the strong presence of women in the streets. They run street shops selling food and basic essentials. It makes you feel comfortable to see other women around you. Unfortunately, as the economic deputy mayor would explain to us, it also means many of their jobs are informal or low income, while the men work in the offices.
After our walk it was time to talk together and find solutions to make the street a fairer and safer space. We discussed the need to speak out, to make the men aware of these issues, and to secure more public facilities.