Cultural norms incite sexual abuse of women

Cultural norms such as male honour, masculinity, and men’s sexual entitlement foster societal acceptance of sexual assault against women in many ways.

Speaking during Botswana Family Welfare Association (BOFWA) Sensitisation of The Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) project in Gaborone yesterday, BOFWA programs manager Senzeni Makhwaje said even though the topic is barely talked about in Botswana, cultural norms play a major role in sexual assaults against women.

“Culturally, women are expected to be submissive to their husbands. Because men pay a bride prize (magadi/lobola) for their wives, it is believed that it is the duty of the wife to sexually satisfy her husband. Therefore not giving women a saying in this issue,” she said. She added that it is culturally believed that women are shadows of their men.

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