In its new state, a pantyhose is a strikingly beautiful clothing garment.

Women look elegant when they are wearing it and effortlessly stand out from the crowd.

“But if not handled carefully it tears, and people would use it to shine their floors and some use it to cover their hair,” said Karabo Bosilong, a member of the Francistown Gender Committee.

It is these telling stages of the popular undergarment that influenced the Gender Committee to conduct a march in commemoration of the 16 days of Activism on Violence Against Women and Children.

The purpose of dressing in pantyhose was to draw attention to the community putting themselves in the shoes of women and a symbol of showing that torn pantyhose illustrates the abuse perpetuated against women, children and people with disabilities.

“The message was that even in that state, we should all come together as a community to support these vulnerable populations,” said Committee Secretary David Tapela.

Tapela further said with the response they received from the Francistown people, especially Botswana Police and Botswana Prisons Services they intend to make this an annual event.

Men and women turned up wearing the silky garment to show support for the initiative hatched by the newly elected committee in Francistown.

The march was organised under the theme: “From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World: Let’s End Violence Against Women and children with Disabilities.”

Bosilong said, “The intention was to mobilise people in Francistown to come together with the aim of achieving zero rate of violence against women and children in the city and the country,”

For her part Jessica Glickman, a United States citizen in the country through the Peace Corps programme said statistics in Botswana on violence against women are shocking.

“67% of women in Botswana have experienced violence,” she said.

Glickman man said this represents one third of the female population while figures for the rest of the world stands at one in three women.

“Botswana is in trouble,” she said.

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