Status of Women in Botswana

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Submitted By lindaruzzo
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Status of Women in Botswana
Linda Ruzzo

Status of Women in Botswana Botswana government leaders began with a vision in 1997, their vision was to make the country a better place to live for its citizens. The government has proposed equalization between genders. This will be a challenge since the majority of citizens are Tswana and their culture is to have women be subordinate. This is in relationship to job, inheritance, sexual behavior, abortions, and sexual harassment (Mookodi, Ntshebe, & Taylor, 2004).
Culture
Over 75% of the population is Tswana, their culture makes a clear division between public-political and the private-domestic world. Women are largely responsible for child care and taking care of the home (Mookodi et al., 2004). Women hold a significant proportion of the electorate; but they hold only 9 of the 40 parliamentary seats ("MDG," 2010). This is possibly why 46% of the households now are headed by women and women are presently choosing not to marry ("MDG," 2010). This is the world’s highest ratio of female headed households. At this time 33.1% of women live below the poverty level ("MDG," 2010, p. 34).
Healthcare
Botswana has the second largest rate in HIV within its borders and in its pregnant women at 38% ("MDG," 2010). In 2009 the estimate still stood at over 300,000 adults living with HIV, or twenty-five percent of its population over the age of fifteen years old. The high rate of HIV in pregnant women is caused by three central factors; the position of women in the culture, their lack of power in negotiating their sexual partners, cultural attitude toward fertility, and social migration patterns (Crowne, 2005). This also has to do with that there are no laws presently that prosecute rape between a married couples ("MDG," 2010). There is also a preference of “dry sex”, preferred by men in this country which raises the…...

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