Botswana Network on Ethics Law and HIV/AIDS (BONELA), has commended the High Court for its ruling granting an order to have transgender activist, Tshepo Kgositau, recognized as a woman.

High Court Judge, Leatile Dambe, yesterday ruled in favour of Kgositau and instructed the State to recognize her as a woman within seven days and issue her with a new identity card identifying her as a female within 21 days after the ruling.

Kgositau, a transgender woman who was born male, approached the courts in August this year seeking to have her gender marker changed in her identity documents.

Kgositau had sought the court to issue an order changing the gender marker on her identity documents from male to female arguing that the documents bore a wrong reflection of her gender.

The matter was then postponed to December as the Presiding judge, Justice Dambe, was not available.

Yesterday fellow activists and well wishers joined Kgositau at the Gaborone high Court in her victory celebration after the state withdrew its opposition to her application.

BONELA Executive Director, Sindi Kelemi however says the community still needs to be sensitised on issues affecting marginalised groups such as the Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgender (LGBT) communities.

“There is still a lot of stigma and discrimination within the community. We know that the religious community is also up in arms trying to reverse all these gains that we are seeing, basically perpetuating hate and homophobia and we need to speak against such groups with one voice as Batswana. We cannot be a country that is premised on ‘Botho’ and yet we are unable to exercise that Botho tho those who need Botho the most,” she said

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