African Sexual Minorities & Gender Variant Resources
Homosexuality - Gay - Lesbian - Bisexual - Transgender - Transsexual - Same-Sex Sex
To: Map of Africa
BOTSWANA - Gay activist sues Botswana over anti-Gay law (2011). - Justice Makhwade to hear gay case (2011). - Lawsuit stirs gay debate in Botswana (2011).- Gay issue finally brings Botswana together
(2011): It has one of the fastest growing economies and a high Hiv/Aids
prevalence rates in the world but that is not all. Today, in a bid to
tackle what is seen as a growing issue, Botswana is increasingly
getting more open about gay issues. On the streets, public transport
even media, you hear a country speaking with itself, on these issues,
and this has attracted a lot of attention- approval and criticisms in
equal measures. Gays and lesbians in Botswana appear surprisingly
emboldened, coming out to announce their sexual preferences in public.
More liberal views about gay and lesbian rights have been heard from
some of the top religious and political figures in Botswana. To crown
it all, Botswana gays and lesbians have mustered the courage to
challenge laws outlawing same sex relationships in court... - Botswana's Laws Criminalising Homosexuality Offend Bill of Rights Enshrined in Constitution (2011). - Botswana's Landmark Decriminalisation of Homosexuality Case Begins (2011).
Politician Defends Anti-gay Comments: Botswana Politician Defends His
Comments That Homosexuality Is 'culture Away From Our Culture' (2011). - Botswana Inmate Advocates for Gay Rights Before Members of Parliament
(2011): The Deputy Speaker of the Botswana National Assembly, Mr. Pono
Moatlhodi, replied that "if he had power, he would have those who
practise homosexuality killed." He defended his statements today in the
Associated Press. - Botswana Goes Anti-Gay (2011). - Lesbian Couple Comes Out in Botswana (2010, Alternate Link):
Marriage is the next social hurdle the two have plans to take on in the
near future. “It’s simply a matter of going to Jozi and signing the
document. Early next year we intend to move in and live together, and
later in the year get legally married.“It will be a marriage made in heaven,” they say with a giggle and cuddle of contentment.
Setuke, Lorraine (2011, Vice Chair, Lesbians, Gays & Bisexuals of Botswana (LeGaBiBo)). Report on the factors contributing to the marginalization of lesbian, bisexual and women who have sex with women (LBWSW) community in Botswana. In: Kirey, Anna (2011). Oral history of activism, formal and non-formal organizing by women-loving women and transgender organizing in Central Asia.Den Haag. PDF Download. PDF Download. From the ground it seems LBWSW women face many difficulties and feel marginalized.Clearly, there is a sign of confusion characterized by awareness of sexuality and internalconflict over identity coupled with feelings of further alienation and isolation. In theBotswana context, the persons I interviewed gave the impression that they assumed there wastolerance of their identities but at the same they accepted that they would never be fullyrecognized. This hinders the first step in actually coming out to one’s self. This realization isstrongly suggested and reflected on the basis that the respondents find it difficult to come outto families, instead revealing their sexual orientation to friendship groups. These individualsimmerse themselves in friendships and LBWSW communities to try and separate themselvesfrom the heterosexual normative community due to stigma and discrimination. They are notable to integrate their sexual orientation with their overall identity. It is easier for bisexualsand WSW to belong to the larger society than it is for masculine lesbians, simply becausethey are able to fit in without being noticed.Marginalizing factors arising from the need for individuals who are members of an oppressedor marginalized group have to come to grips with the oppression or marginalization; for LBWSW identity, development demands the person to deal with the process of coming out, both to themselves and their families, and addressing internalized homophobia.These findings indicate that most of the respondents earn between the range of P500 andP2000, suggesting that a majority of the respondents are students, resulting in a level of independence that is strongly reliant on family. This demographic indicates a fear to disclosetheir sexual orientation to family for reasons of possible loss of financial security. There wasa strong link between issues of security and finance and individuals being closeted. The fear of perceived homophobia from civil society was also a factor of internalized homophobia.
Botswana Lesbian and Gay Community Celebrate their Pride
(2008): Locked iron gates, entry by invitation, absence of the media
and controlled noise behind one of Gaborone's town houses appeared to
be an illustration of innate fear by Batswana lesbians, gay and
bisexuals to be outed and recognised as homosexuals during a pride
party hosted by the Lesbians, Gay and Bisexuals of Botswana (LeGaBiBo)
recently. This second annual pride party by LeGaBiBo, a first Botswana
lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex project run by
Botswana Network on Ethics Law and HIV /AIDS (BONELA), attracted almost
200 members of the gay community to celebrate their existence with
pride and to strengthen trust between them and LeGaBiBo. - Growing Up Gay In Botswana (2008). - There's nothing gay about 'gays' - Miss Botswana
(2009): New 'Miss Botswana' queen, Sumaiyah Marope, 20, on her crowning
night attacked same-sex relationships describing them as 'unnatural
Arnott J, Crago A-L (2009). Rights Not rescue: A Report on Female, Male, and Trans Sex Workers’ Human Rights in Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa. Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa Sexual Health and Rights Project, Open Society Institute. PDF Download.
Botswana's Church leaders denounce gay Bishop (2003): The Anglican Church in Botswana has joined a growing list of African Anglican dioceses that have refused to recognise the consecration of Revd Gene Robinson as Bishop-Coadjutor of the Diocese of New Hampshire in the United States, because of his sexual orientation.. - Bishop Mwamba looks to 'breakthrough' on homosexuality row (2007, Alternate Link): Anglican churches will soon return to their mission to alleviate poverty, disease and injustice and abandon a "fixation" with homosexuality, says Anglican Bishop Trevor Mwamba of Botswana, the recently-appointed dean of the Anglican Church of the Province of Central Africa. "Very few of us take the homosexual debate as a top priority issue because there are more pressing issues facing the African church," Mwamba told Ecumenical News International in a telephone interview from his office in the Botswana capital, Gaborone.
LeGaBiBo fights for welfare and voice (2007):
Mothers Union – a Christian faith-based movement caring for welfares of
families globally, at least will receive a letter of grievances from
Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals of Botswana (LeGaBiBo) of how the
organisation was being ill-treated during a recent dialogue on
homosexuality that took place in Botswana... LeGaBiBo was there to take
part, and its representative – Skipper Mogapi – complained that she was
gagged from talking positively about homosexuality. She further
complained that the dialogue was one-sided as all panelists incessantly
quoted the bible to reinforce their views condemning homosexuality... -
Still oblivious battle after many years for Botswana gays (2006):
Gays in Botswana – who founded Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals of Botswana
(LeGaBiBo), are being continuously frustrated by government in that
country. - Botswana refuses to register gay advocacy group (2007).
Botswana Gays Rejoice As Opponents See Red (2006):
Early this week the South African parliament made history and passed a
bill that ushers in a law that recognizes same sex marriages. This
development, the first of its kind in Africa has generated a lot of
excitement amongst the gay community and human rights organizations in
Botswana. LEGABIBO, an organization of Gays and lesbians in Botswana
has applauded South Africans for passing the law despite the fact that
homosexuality and lesbianism remains a taboo in the country... "This is
frustrating as homosexuality has always existed in Botswana. We
suppressed it because we are such a secretive society," she said. She
lamented that they cannot register LEGABIBO because the Constitution
does not recognise them. " It is even difficult for homosexuals to
access medical facilities as they are discriminated," she said. Moepi's
sentiments have been echoed by the director of Botswana Network of
Ethics, Law and AIDS (BONELA), Christine Stegling who emphasised the
necessity of passing out a law that recognise gay and lesbian
marriages. She said this would be an indication of Botswana's
commitment to human rights and fighting discrimination.
Is there hope in vision 2016? (2004, Alternate Link)
The government of Botswana has issued a bold vision statement for the
nation called Vision 2016. It promises all citizens safety, security,
freedom of expression and a tolerant nation, but how will this help
LGBT people if they don't lobby around their rights within the
framework of the vision... These bold words of inclusivity would
seem to be opening the doors for LGBT lobbying; laying the ground for
successful change in legislation that outlaws homosexuality in
Botswana. However, Legabibo, the country's LGBT group are dispersed and
virtually none functioning. "It is very hard to get hold of them," one
activist told me. "Because they have no office space and no permanent
staff. The law prevents them from registering as an organisation, which
has left them pretty helpless." At the All Africa conference in
Johannesburg earlier this year, representatives from Botswana admitted
that the registration issue was just one part of the problem. "Lesbian
and gay people in Botswana are not really interested in organising. If
we throw a party then they will all turn up, but try to stage a rally
or a meeting to discuss serious issues and there will be no more than a
handful." Activists working in the field of HIV/Aids in Botswana admit
that accessing MSMs (men who have sex with men) is a big problem. "The
government do not include same sex behaviour in their information. But
how can they when homosexuality is outlawed - it is a catch 22
situation. They know there is a problem but there is no-one to deal
with, not the government nor the LGBT community." One of the reasons
sited for the lack of an effective LGBT lobby is insidiously personal
according to another activist in Gaborone. "The gay scene is young,
young as in not long established, but also young as in, populated by
mostly young people - there is a lot of gossip, bitchiness and in
fighting, usually caused by the fact that many of them have been in
relationships with each other. It is a very small community."
Botswana: Homosexuality under Fire (1998): Church groups in Botswana last week launched a vicious attack on gays and lesbians, labelling homosexuality "animalistic and satanic." The attack came just weeks after an amendment to the Penal Code which makes lesbianism a crime. - Botswana Debates The Relaxation of Anti-Gay Laws (Alternate Link): Reverend Dan Hoffman made an appeal in a panel discussion at the University of Botswana recently for the SADC country’s anti-gay laws to be reviewed, but student bodies oppose his call for Christian compassion, the Botswana Gazette reports. All the panel lists called for a relaxation of legislation, but the mostly student audience opposed any changes and rejected homosexuality in Botswana society.. - The well-being of gays, lesbians and bisexuals in Botswana (Journal of Advanced Nursing: 2001 35(6): 848-56): "Results indicated that varying degrees of distress were experienced by 64% of the GLBs in this study. The GLBs identified a need for human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) education and had concerns about their general health, discrimination against them and vulnerability to violence including sexual assaults." - Botswana human rights centre gets gay award (2000).
in Botswana Plead for Gay Tolerance
(1999): The Johannesburg Daily Mail & Guardian reports an appeal
made by the Botswana Christian Council for a relaxation of social and
legal prohibitions against homosexuality was greeted with outright
hostility by an audience of mostly students at the University of
Botswana. In a panel discussion at the University, Reverend Dan Hoffman
made a broad-based appeal calling for greater Christian compassion
towards men and women who feel emotional affinity for members of the
same sex.- Botswana
president: 'Don't be judgmental on homosexuals
(2000): President Festus Mogae of Botswana has urged that the people of
his country may soon have to change their strong held views about
certain members of the society in order for the nation to effectively
stop any future HIV infections...The report urges the nation not to be
judgmental of prisoners, homosexuals and commercial sex workers. Mogae
informed his audience that if Botswana had no way of protecting the
groups mentioned above, it would ultimately fail to protect the broader
society in general. - Anti-Gay
Laws Challenged in Botswana (2001). - Alleged
Gay Challenges Homosexual Laws (2001). - Botswana
Wrestles with Implications of Gay Case (2001). - The
well-being of gays, lesbians and bisexuals in Botswana (2001).
Lesbians, and Bisexuals of Botswana
(2003): Currently the laws, and general societal attitudes, within
Botswana prohibit ones' choice of sexual orientation. The Centre is
actively involved in calls for national awareness-raising regarding the
legalisation of same sex relations between consenting adults. - "Unnatural
practises" law stands in Botswana
(2003): In its ruling, The High Court in Botswana said that, "Gay men
and women do not represent a group or class which at this stage has
been shown to require protection under the constitution." Therefore the
laws that forbid same-sex relations in Botswana, for both men and
women, are constitutional and would remain unchanged. This just after
the USA Supreme Court ruled the exact opposite, decriminalising
same-sex sex in the USA.
Homosexuality is forbidden, says Orebotse
(2001, Must Scroll): Since the laws of Botswana forbid homosexuality, no
prisoners have been given condoms and they would not be given any as
that would be tantamount to encouraging homosexuality, says
Commissioner of Prisons Joseph Orebotse.
Inside prisons’ dirty secrets
(2011): “It is true that men have sex with other men in prison. These
things do happen.” This is the reality in Botswana prisons, according
to revelations by a former inmate. Lesego Matlhape only spent a year
and three months behind bars, but he has seen it all. Consensual and
non-consensual sex and prostitution – apparently all these happen
behind the barred doors of Botswana’s prisons. Matlhape was
making a testimony at a workshop about HIV and AIDS in prisons. Another
former inmate, who would like to remain anonymous, corroborates his
story.. - Botswana: Condoms in prison debate rages (2010).
of the HIV & AIDS epidemic in Botswana (2000, Chapter 2, Part 6: PDF
Download): "Although HIV is transmitted mainly through heterosexual
intercourse in Botswana, men having sex with men is a reality and a factor,
albeit an apparently minor one, in the spread of the virus. How minor a
factor it is remains unknown, thanks to homophobic laws and sentiments,
as well as a shortage of reliable research. A 1998 study elicited mixed
responses from young men on the topic of male homosexuality. Some were
appalled at the idea of a man having sex with another man, but others admitted
that it does happen in Botswana society, hence the noun "matanyola". Tswana
culture abhors matanyola as an act of sexual perversion." - To
be legal or not to be legal: Illegality of homosexuality in Botswana
and the spread of HIV in prisions and the general community (2004). - Country Situation Analysis, Botswana, UNAIDS Global Report 2006 Data:
In addition, the situation of marginalized groups like men who have sex
with men and sex workers needs to be further addressed.
Bisexual concurrency, bisexual partnerships, and HIV among Southern African men who have sex with men (2010, Abstract):
The sexual behaviour of men who have sex with men (MSM) in southern
Africa has been little studied. We present here the first data on
bisexual partnerships and bisexual concurrency among MSM in Malawi,
Namibia and Botswana... 34.1% of MSM were married or had a stable
female partner, and 53.7% reported both male and female sexual partners
in the past 6 months. Bisexual concurrency was common, with 16.6% of
MSM having concurrent relationships with both a man and a woman... The
majority of MSM in this study report some bisexual partnerships in the
previous 6 months. Concurrency with sexual partners of both genders is
common. Encouragingly, men reporting any concurrent bisexual activity
were more likely to report condom use with sexual partners, and these
men were not more likely to have HIV infection than men reporting only
male partners. HIV-prevention programmes focussing on decreasing
concurrent sexual partners in the African context should also target
bisexual concurrency among MSM. Decriminalisation of same-sex practices
will potentiate evidence-based HIV-prevention programmes targeting MSM.
HIV prevalence, risks for HIV infection, and human rights among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Malawi, Namibia, and Botswana (2009, Abstract): The HIV prevalence among those between the ages of 18 and 23 was 8.3% (20/241); 20.0% (42/210) among those 24-29; and 35.7% (30/84) among those older than 30 for an overall prevalence of 17.4% (95% CI 14.4-20.8). In multivariate logistic regressions, being older than 25 (aOR 4.0, 95% CI 2.0-8.0), and not always wearing condoms during sex (aOR 2.6, 95% CI 1.3-4.9) were significantly associated with being HIV-positive. Sexual concurrency was common with 16.6% having ongoing concurrent stable relationships with a man and a woman and 53.7% had both male and female sexual partners in proceeding 6 months. Unprotected anal intercourse was common and the use of petroleum-based lubricants was also common when using condoms. Human rights abuses, including blackmail and denial of housing and health care was prevalent with 42.1% (222/527) reporting at least one abuse. MSM are a high-risk group for HIV infection and human rights abuses in Malawi, Namibia, and Botswana.
Resources: - Behind the Mask - A Web Site on Gay and Lesbian Affairs in Africa. - Africa by Country: Botswana Information. Botswana Archive. - African Veil: Countries Covered: Botswana. - Queer afrol. - Afrol News; Gay/Lesbian Archives. - theGully.com news & Articles: Africa. - Gay Botswana: Life Stories of Gays Living in Botswana.
Global Gayz: Africa: Botswana News Reports from 2004 to the Present. - ILGA: Africa: Botswana. - LGBT rights in Botswana. - Sodomy Laws. - DITSHWANELO, The Botswana Centre for Human Rights: Gays, Lesbians, and Bisexuals of Botswana. - Human Rights Watch: Use Search Function. - Amnesty International: Use Search Function. - Pink News: Europe's Largest Gay News Service: Africa. - AsylumLaw.Org: Sexual Minorities & HIV Status: Documents / Reports / Website Links / Organizations. Botswana Individual Documents Since 2005. - Links to News Sources for GLBT World.
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