Local Government and Rural Development assistant minister Botlogile Tshireletso has called on government to refrain from making decisions for transgender persons.
Speaking on Tuesday in Parliament, Tshireletso said transgender people have the same rights just as any citizen is entitled to enjoy and they should be given that respect for who they are and also should be treated equally.
Tshireletso said transgender persons should have their birth certificates written in the state in which they are born immediately and later on when they reach puberty stage that is when they can decide what to become because it is the grooming state that favours them.
“The Botswana Democratic Party government says it is a freedom of speech country hence it does not allow all groups to voice out their opinions about their life decisions.
Furthermore, the government nor the parents should not be the ones to decide what the child should be when they are born. This affects them when they discover who they truly are, since some of them are caught in being women when their true identity is of a man and this brings about shame to the parents and the transperson because they normally suffer being rejected by the public. They live under fear and low self-esteem because they are stigmatised,” she said.
Tshireletso said they fail to perform their talents most times due to the communities’ religion-based beliefs and these make them live in pain because they are not given the space to express their capabilities to the world and it denies them opportunities in life.
She said being given the opportunity to choose for themselves if they are female or male at the mentioned stage helps them to make clear and informed decisions about their wellbeing as people. She said it also makes them feel loved and accepted in the community and that promotes acceptance and togetherness. The minister of Transport and Communications, Dorcus Makgato added that these increase the number of the unemployment rate as it is driven by multiple factors being isolation and lack of basic needs that are not being met.
“The government alone cannot make choices for special needs people. Let them be given the care and support they deserve,” she said.