Sex and minority rights

A local publication recently reported on President Ian Khama deciding on taking the issue of minority rights in prostitution and same sex relationships to the Kgotla to see how accomodating to the idea of legalising same sex relationships and prostitution Batswana are.

Homosexuals and sex workers have been singled out as  some of the neglected groups that continue to defeat HIV/AIDS war because they cannot approach medical services without fear of being punished for their illegal sexual activities. Often, those who engage in sexual activities with people of the same sex are not catered for at all in the local medical facilities and suffer in silence.

That prostitutes and same sex groups are a minority group cannot be disputed. That the majority of Batswana shun these groups cannot be disputed either. Anytime and on any day, voices calling for the discrimination of these groups are sure to be heard all over Botswana. Yet, experts in the fight against HIV and AIDS have advised  Botswana that  to  win the HIV war within these neglected groups, it should come up with laws that recognise these people and laws that  aim to  reach out to them, against the current laws that punish these groups. Indeed going to kgotla’s can only procrastinate our efforts to  take the HIV/AIDS fight to another level. We will just be just going in circles. Various Ministers in the past and even recently returned from these kgotla meetings regretting why they even raised the subject, after getting a barrage of attacks from angry  and intolerant Batswana. Many still believe that legalising these would encourage people to engage in these practices.

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