This year the theme of the International Women’s Day(IWD) which falls on March 8(Yesterday) was “Empower Rural women, End Hunger and Poverty”
Voice reporter, Daniel Chida spoke to various women in the village of Maun to find out what these rural women understood by the significant of the day and what they think Batswana women should be fighting for and what they should be celebrating throughout the month. Below are their comments and observations.
Gomolemo Magowe (27) Delta Advertising in Thito ward: Women in rural places are very much left behind when it comes to equal rights.
I can tell you that when a man goes to the cattle post he does not see the need to consult with his wife on what is happening there.
A wife can just overhear him telling his friends that he sold some animals from the cattle-post and would never be shown the proceeds of the sale.
Another thing is that as rural women we do not have an idea of what to do to avoid being dispossessed of a shared estate when a marriage ends.
Instead of only celebrating IWD in towns women in rural areas should be educated on some of these issues by their more exposed and en lightened counterparts in towns and cities.
Nono Diratsagae(24) Net Skills Company from Boseja ward: There are no women’s clubs in rural places and it is hard for us to share ideas.
We should be fighting to end the prevalent abuse of women and women’s clubs in rural areas would help create a platform where victims can speak out to end domestic violence.
As rural women we also need to cultivate our confidence to demand and expect consultation concerning developments that take place around us. We are used to agreeing on everything because disagreeing is traditionally a taboo.
Mopalo Keabetswe (40) Street Vendor from Sedie ward: “I do not know what is meant by Women’s Day Celebrations maybe it is something for those women who live in Gaborone. What is it my son? When you talk about
problems that we rural women face, I can tell you that the government has neglected us unmarried women in rural areas and we desperately need to fight for government to assist parents of disabled children with better child care.
A mother of a disabled child cannot go and look for employment when the father of that child has also disappeared, so yes we need government to insist on and enforce equal parenting somehow.
Life is hard for us rural women so we don’t have time to time to celebrate days because wemust get on with issues of bread and butter otherwise we starve.