Those who lived in Gaborone during the 80s and late 90s know that mini-skirts, hot pants, tank tops and anything else remotely revealing are taboo at the city’s bus rank.
This is a place where street vendors, those in the taxi industry, the everyday commuter, the tourist shoppers and many others interact at some point in the day.
When that woman raised in Gaborone felt like going skimpy she should have known better than not to disturb the bus rank peace while she is subjected to being savagely victimised by ruthless gangs who feel nothing but a sense of entitlement and ownership over her body.
One may wonder what will become of the women who are not lucky enough to know the bus rank’s women’s dress code.
Lifestyle caught up with Men and Boys for Gender Equality following the horrid incident which allegedly took place on Sunday morning in which a young lady was virtually stripped naked and abused by hooligans who reports say on a normal day conduct business at the bus rank like street vending as well as bus and taxi services.
One of the hooligans recorded part of the mayhem where they were throwing insults at the characteristic of rape culture.
Desmond Lunga of Men and Boys for Gender Equality urges the public to reflect on the #menaretrash hashtag that has been trending lately and consider how it caused reflective dialogue on the abusive male stereotype.
“Shockingly as we dialogue around these issues, not enough men have taken enough stock of themselves. I wonder how many of us have thought about the hashtag enough to realise we are not doing enough to change male dominance and abuse towards women,” he said.
He note that the footage took at the station is embarrassing and has led them to realise that indeed they have their work cut out for them.
“It was embarrassing not only to my organisation but also to the taxi rank community, the Taxi Association, the City of Gaborone and the Street Vendor’s Association,” he continued.
Lunga said men should realise that it is their duty to feel responsible for what their peers do especially concerning issues of violence incited on women.
“As much as I might want to exclude myself from what took place on that day it exposes my lack of pro-actively tackling rape culture because the incident has taken place. If men assume the responsibility to protect all women like they would their own sisters, such nonsense would have no place in our society,” said an upset Lunga.
He said he felt it was important to call all stakeholders in the Gender Issues and Human Rights fraternity to unanimously stand united against the way women get treated every day in the busy streets.
“Are we able to hold our government accountable as a governing body responsible for gender focused issues? What is the Gender Affairs Department and Ministry of Defence and Justice doing about such occurrences because it is not the first time?” he asked.
For his part Assistant Police Commissioner Witness Bosija said although they had not made any arrests so far they urged the public to come forth and assist his team.
“We need credible evidence to prosecute the said mob that victimised the lady. It is despicable behavior! The person who posted that video on social media also needs to be arrested and charged for the cyber offence,” he said.
He said the obvious charge for now is indecent assault but it will not be surprising if more charges surface as investigations unfold. “I am pleading with the general public to assist the police as we can only prosecute this behavior with credible evidence,” said Bosija.