Botswana is the longest African multi-party democracy. However, although it has ratified CEDAW on 13 August 1996, it has not yet ratified the Maputo Protocol due to concerns about SRHR. Some of the advances with regards to gender equality in the past years are:
- National Policy on Gender and Development[i]: Is accompanied by a National Operational Plan,[ii] prioritizes actions to remedy the gaps of women’s participation in political life.[iii]
- Establishment of the National Gender Commission: Monitors the implementation of the 2015 National Policy on Gender and Development[iv]
- National Development Plan 11[v]: Promotes the elimination of GBV, focus on mental health effects of domestic violence, and mainstreaming gender equality[vi] and empowers women through equal access and opportunity,[vii] by giving access to a more diversified economy.
- Revised Botswana Land Policy: Gives married women the right to apply for land even if their husbands already own a plot.[viii]
- Botswana launched 25 gender violence courts following a rise in cases during the pandemic.[ix]
[i] CEDAW (2017), “Fourth periodic report submitted by Botswana under article 18 of the Convention, due in 2014”, p.5.
[ii] CEDAW (2017), “Fourth periodic report submitted by Botswana under article 18 of the Convention, due in 2014”, p.5.
[iii] CEDAW (2017), “Fourth periodic report submitted by Botswana under article 18 of the Convention, due in 2014”, p.17.
[iv] Republic of Botswana (2017), “Synopsis of Botswana Update on Implementation of 27 September, 2015 Commitments to Eliminate Gaps in Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women and Girls”, p.3, https://bit.ly/3z4UIsV.
[viii] Bella Naija (2020), “Married Women in Botswana Now Have the Right to Own Land”, https://bit.ly/34YZvya.