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MEN ABUSED TOO

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MISTER MINISTER: Ngaka Ngaka

National Relationship Study launched this week reveals that Gender Based Violence (GBV) in Botswana is relatively high with both women and men at risk.

The Study includes for the first time men’s experiences of violence not just as perpetrators but as GBV survivors as well. It also cements that patriarchal attitudes play a huge role in driving GBV both for women and men with such attitudes perpetuating rape culture and encouraging the culture of silence, as survivors fear secondary victimisation.

The Study that was unveiled in Artesia by the Minister of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs, Ngaka Ngaka reveals that 37 percent of women have experienced some form of GBV in their lifetime including partner and non-partner violence, with 30 percent of men reported as perpetrating GBV.

On the other hand 21 percent of men interviewed reported experiencing some form of violence, while 12 percent of women reported continued GBV in their lifetime.The study measures the extent, risk factors, determinants and effects of GBV. In addition, it explores the current GBV response with implications for prevention, treatment, care and support and recovery interventions. Minister Ngaka said at the launch of the Study on Tuesday that Botswana is the first SADC country to conduct a follow-up Study to the initial 2012 study.

Botswana is also the second country in the region after Seychelles to undertake a comprehensive GBV Study that encompasses both Violence Against Women (VAW) and Violence Against Men (VAM). “The Study broke new ground as it increased the 2012 Study sample size 10 times, covering all districts, thereby allowing disaggregation of results by districts,” Ngaka said. According to the Study, most of the violence reported occurs in intimate relationships. This is showed by 36 percent of women who reported experiencing violence in an intimate relationship, while 26 percent of men reported perpetrating Intimate Partner Violence (IPV).

Emotional Intimate Partner Violence was the most common form of IPV experienced by women at 31 percent and perpetrated by men at 17 percent. The study further shows that 15 percent of women reported experiencing abuse in pregnancy and these are relatively low levels of non-partner rape reported by women at five percent and one percent for men as rape statistics recorded by the Botswana Police Service and Shelters.

“These statistics require all of Batswana to deeply interrogate them and introspect so that we develop targeted interventions that will address the root cause of the problem across the country,” Minister Ngaka said. The Study suggests that emotional partner violence and physical violence are the most common forms of GBV respectively. It further states that men are less likely to report their experiences of violence.

Alcohol consumption has been found to increase the risk of IPV experience and perpetration. It adds that Shelter services in Botswana are not proportionate to the needs of GBV survivors.These findings, according to Ngaka place Botswana within the World Health Organisation global GBV estimates, which indicate that about one in three women worldwide have experienced some form of violence.

Minister Ngaka says to address the situation, government will put in place a more robust Monitoring and Evaluation Framework in every district as well as development of a comprehensive prevention strategy that includes interventions at all levels of the ecological model; individual, relationship, community and societal.

The Ministry of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs will also work with relevant stakeholders to develop a comprehensive system for GBV management including psychosocial support. In addition, GBV Referral System will be strengthened to improve coordination of partners’ activities in addressing multifaceted challenges of GBV as well as improving access to comprehensive quality services for GBV survivors.

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FREE AT LAST: LGBTI persons celebrate

Yvonne Mooka

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CELEBRATION TIME: The LGBT community celebrated the historic ruling on same sex romance this Tuesday

Thapelo Matshameko, a transgender woman who last year was attacked at Trekkers night club in Gaborone is over the moon about the High Court ruling that overturned a law that criminalised same sex relations.

A trans-woman is a woman who was assigned male at birth. In response to the ruling, she told The Midweek Sun that even though she has had it tough before with people calling her ‘Brazen’ and to stop behaving like a woman, she is now happy that the law recognises that they exist. She said that Batswana are now becoming tolerant towards Lesbians Gays Bisexual Transgender and Intersex persons.

“Recently I went out for dinner with my bae, and I came all the way from my house wearing a dress. People that know me loved it and my boyfriend loved it even more,” she says, adding that the verdict will also help other LGBTI persons that are in the closet to come out.

In a previous interview Metshameko pleaded for assistance from members of the public to help her do a surgery that would make her a complete woman. For Motswakgakala Sithole also known as Motswafere in music circles, the ruling shows that Botswana is one step closer to gay marriages.

“Thank you to all the visible gay people. We take punches for those hiding and those shaming us for being visible and exercising our rights. You guys attended court cases with pride and you have carried us to freedom,” he said.

He also thanked Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals of Botswana (LEGABIBO), lawyers in the case, the media, and friends of the LGBTI community for their support. Phio Kenosi who identifies as trans non-binary asexual woma-romantic, (romantically attracted to the feminine essence), was also ecstatic.

“It is obviously showing that we are moving in a new direction that is positive and inclusive towards sexual and gender minority,” he said.

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Wame – a little einstein in the making

Irene Shone

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LITTLE EISTEIN: Wame Kangumbe

Wame Petit Kangumbe, 12, is an Optometrist in the making.

Kangumbe envisions taking Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) to the next level by inventing something scientific in the future.The standard 7 pupil at Ratsie Setlhako Primary School in Palapye impressed everyone during the BIUST 5th STEM Festival and Research and Innovation Symposium with her sharp answers during the fest.

The little Scientist believes that the entire country should embrace science and do more experiments, to find out more about our physical environment and shed dependency on foreign countries in terms of Science and Engineering.

Her secret to relating with different topics so well, is research and more research. “I like researching. We have Wi-Fi at home, and so I often use my mother’s phone to type different topics and interact with how everything is related. I always prepare for the next lesson through researching,” she said.

She said the poverty in Africa can only be eliminated through STEM. “If everyone could take interest in STEM, we would go further in terms of uplifting the status of our economies as African countries,” she said.

She urged her peers to believe in themselves and be serious about their education. “When you write down your notes in class, make an application of what you want out of them. Everyone’s life is in their own hands,” she advised.

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