Friday, June 21, 2024

More still needs to be done for women

This week the world celebrated International Women’s Day.

It was a beautiful spectacle.

It was a day to remember all the good that the women do to the world.

This paper this week will want to add its voice to all that has been said about women.

And it has been quiete a lot.

In particular we will want to pay tribute to all the women in the rural areas.

We recognise that across the board as a gender,. women face all kinds of difficulties as a result of gender discrimination. But in our view, for all the progress that has been made, women in the rural areas have been especially left too far behind.

These are the people who literally carry on their backs all the weight of the rural economy.

And this is a difficult economy.

In the rural areas all the heavy weight lifting is done by women as a result of cultural practices we talk about.

They cook, bring up children and even take care of the men – healthy or sick.

The whole rural economy relies on women.

They bring up children and make sure that everything – literally everything is in order.

Without women the whole edifice would collapse. And there would be chaos.

From ploughing the fields to being the carers of the sick. From cleaning the homes, including cooking to being the carers of the children.

We acknowledge that a lot of  progress has been made over the years.

But we still need first to shed all the cultural shackles that make it possible to keep more than half of humanity down.

We need to do away with all the practices that make it easy to continue justifying low wages for women that are more qualified than men.

We need to do away with all the practices that make it convenient to turn a blind eye when women and young girls are abused in our eyes simply because they happen to be women.

While still there, we want to acknowledge all the progress made by Botswana Police by making it a part of their practice to protect victims of gender abuse, including girls impregnated by order men through practices that our cultures continue to condone.

Botswana Police has been exceptional.

We cannot say this strong enough.

We need to nurture and build a society that is more inclusive.

We need to do by training and teaching young boys that they are equal to the girls.

We need to teach girls that they can grow up aspiring to be anything better or equal to that which their brothers aspire.

We need to teach young girls that they have a right to want to live in a secure environment where they have no fear of being abused or being raped.

Gender gap continues to be a virus.

It manifests itself in various ways, including the pay gap, especially for same work done.

Even in our boardrooms, women are still not accepted as equals.

Their voices are not allowed to be heard even as scientific evidence proves that businesses with more women perform better.

The future of the world is the one where women are well represented at the top table.

The future of the world the is the one where women have equal voice as men.

Women are numerically much more superior.

We can no longer rely on archaic cultural practices to keep them down.

Those days are gone.


Read this week's paper