When women embrace polygamy

News from Palapye is that a group of women met over the weekend and eulogised over the beauty of polygamy.

They showered the practice with all the wonderful phrases they could find.

The women’s pro-polygamy stance may be seen to be embarrassing to Botswana, a country whiich is generally seen as a progressive democracy in terms of gender empowerment.

There are lessons to be learned from the Palapye pro-polygamy women group, however. It is perhaps indicative of how far we are still lagging behind as a democratic society in as far as women empowerment is concerned.


Maybe, it is a reminder that we still have a lot to do to empower women economically so that they do not continue to perceive a husband or a man as a source of their livelihoods.

The Palapye women’s group reminds us that there are still many women who are not economically independent and who still look at men as the source of their salvations.

An economically empowered woman would no longer need a man for the sake of a surname, as the Palapye group reasons. Marital surname is a psychological problem whose roots is lack of economic independence on the part of the woman.

Our women are still being held down by cultural traditions that teach that without marriage they are not complete.  Only complete economic empowerment can emancipate our people and open their eyes to the realisation that a woman does not need to be married, to be using a husband’s surname, to earn  society’s respect.

For as long as our society continue to produce more and more of less-economically empowered women, we will have their presence in the society manifesting in echoes such as those from the pro-polygamy group.

It is sad to note that a less economically empowered group can embrace even the worst form of establishment such as polygamy.

The voices from Palapye’s pro-polygamy group should not be celebrated, they should be seen as a sign of some of the problems we are facing that need to be nipped in the bud with vigorous social up-liftment programmes that go beyond just safety nets, but create a sustainable and desirable lifestyle for a general Motswana woman.

Editor's Comment
What about employees in private sector?

How can this be achieved when there already is little care about the working conditions of those within the private sector employ?For a long time, private sector employees have been neglected by their employers, not because they cannot do better to care for them, but because they take advantage of government's laxity when it comes to protecting and advocating for public sector employees, giving the cue to employers within the private sector...

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