Category Archives: Botswana

A Woman’s Right to Abortion  

When will the paradigm shift?

This is probably the hardest post I have ever had to write thus far simply because of the scrutiny I know I am going to get from it but because it bothers me so much to hell with subtlety. In fact I have had my religious beliefs questioned numerous times, “How does a Christian advocate for abortion?” If I got a thebe for the number of times I have been asked this question then boy would I be rich and I’m actually being serious about this…I would be rich.

But anyway, if you have been following my blog or if you know me personally then you would know how much I advocate for women’s rights and that I’m also pro-choice when it comes to abortion.

There is a rhetoric that a woman’s body does not belong to her therefore she cannot do as she pleases with it, A rhetoric that we need to get rid of, everybody wants to control our bodies. (By everybody I actually mean men.) Not forgetting the “abortion is murder” line that society uses on women to try guilt trip them.

I remember watching a documentary from Zimbabwe and one of the women said something so powerful and it has stuck with me for a really long time. Tendai Garwe said:

 “It’s my parliament, everyone has a constituency on this body except myself and I am tired”

 

In Botswana, Abortion is a criminal offence according to the Penal Code, there are certain exceptions where a woman can have an abortion such as in cases of rape, defilement or if the pregnancy puts the mental or physical health of the woman at risk (just to name a few).  A woman cannot voluntary enter a health care centre and request for an abortion at her own volition. If that doesn’t prove how we do not have control over our own bodies then I don’t know what will. Women resort to abortion for various reasons, maybe she just isn’t ready to bear the responsibility, and cannot financially provide for this child. There are so many children on the streets begging because they were born into impoverished families. This is the pandemic in so many African countries; I saw this happening in Tanzania too. Our children deserve better than this. Orphanages do exist but they are not conducive environments for children to grow up in.  I have volunteered in orphanages therefore I have seen the environment these children grow up in, it is not all rosy.

 

It is quite clear that patriarchal norms still remain a barrier for women and also the failure by the legislature to enact laws that protect women and allow them to fully assert their reproductive rights. Having such strict laws has pushed women to resort to street abortions/ back alley abortions, some even drinking pills they buy off the black market which is unsafe and in some instances due to certain complications can lead to death or leave some women barren. This is real. This is happening in our communities. Our sisters are dying because of laws that infringe on our rights to privacy.

“Women deserve better than back alley surgeries that leave our wombs barren and empty……. Get the f*** out of our decisions and give us back our voice. Women do deserve better. Women deserve choice”- Sonya Renee on her spoken word piece ‘What Women Deserve’

With that said its time to all rally behind this issue. We need a movement. We need to fight because we do deserve better. It might be wishful thinking or I am just being naïve but I believe civil societies & the very few women in parliament can make somewhat of a difference.

PS: I know I have been missing in action for a while, I can’t believe I last posted last year August but I’m back now. Hopefully my disappearing acts are over.

 

 

 

 

My Interview on Phenomenal African Woman Magazine

WORDS ON MARBLE

PAW stands for Phenomenal African Women, It is a foundation which aims to Inspire, Celebrate and Empower African women who are making an impact in their communities.They feature female change makers from all over the continent.I was privileged enough to be approached by them to be featured on their online magazine. It always puts a smile on my face when I am recognized for the small contributions I do in my community and I hope it inspires that 19 year old girl who thinks she does not have the power to make an impact.

Below is the link so everyone can check it out and learn a bit on who I am and what  drives me.

http://phenomenalafricawoman.blogspot.com/2016/06/there-is-no-force-more-powerful-than.html

Rise up and realize that you are undeniably a QUEEN

WHY BOTSWANA SHOULD CRIMINALIZE MARITAL RAPE

Rape is a most serious, humiliating and invasive assault against a person and to suggest that it should be permitted if the perpetrator is a spouse is totally unacceptable and a historic aberration” these were the words of one of the country’s most celebrated High Court Judge, Justice Ian Kirby and I say cheers to that!

A fact that we cannot hide from is that a large number of women are sexually assaulted or raped by their husband every single year. Rape within these conventional relationships hardly ever gets reported mainly because there is an assumption that a wife automatically consents due to the nature of the relationship and most importantly because Botswana does not recognise marital rape as a criminal offense.

I strongly believe that the Marital Immunity Doctrine in Botswana is barbaric. This immunity violates a women’s right to bodily integrity and freedom based on the argument that it is impossible for a husband to rape his wife. The mere fact that rape within a marriage is not recognized goes to show how women are being mutilated in our country and how they are expected to surrender their bodies wholly to their husbands. Just because you are joined together in Holy Matrimony does not mean that he owns you. A woman’s bodily integrity should be respected.

Marriage in Botswana is a civil death not a civil union”– Attaliah Molokomme

Marital Rape is dehumanizing, unjust and a criminal act. Every woman either in Botswana or anywhere else in the world should be afforded the right to refuse consent to sexual activity regardless of the fact that she is married to that person. A NO! Means NO! A marriage certificate or 20 carat diamond ring does not change that.  It’s about time the legislature implemented a law that criminalises marital rape so these perpetrators can be put behind bars because of their inhumane and degrading actions towards their wives.