Tales of the Abuse of the Girl Child_Sunday Standard_May 26 2016

Date: May 26, 2016
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Name of article: Tales of the Abuse of the Girl Child

Name of Publication: Sunday Standard

Country: Botswana

Theme: Abuse

Brief description of the work

This is a narrative and situational piece about two young impressionable young girls who find themselves in a hard place having to make a decision regarding their safety and sexuality without even being aware of it. Two girls are faced with men trying to coerce them into questionable and potentially detrimental liaisons which will ultimately lead to inter-generational sex and relationships. Being raised in a traditional Setswana set up of the notion that “Mogolo ga a ganwe” (You cannot refuse the advances of an elder, it becomes very confusing for young women to refuse inappropriate advances from elder men) click here to see full story.

Background  of the story

Currently in Botswana there is a Children’s act which defines a “Child’ to be someone under the age of 18. there has also been an influx of sexual offenses against girls under the age of 18 who are still in high school. Sexual offenses are how ever tried using the county’s penal code only which defines defilement as having sexual relations with someone younger than the age of 16.

Key objectives

It was designed Specifically to challenge the Botswana legislature and depict the real life situations that young girls are faced with everyday when being proposed to by elder and influential men in society. It is well that the penal code has no qualms in bringing perpetrators to task but there is a gap for girls aged between 16, 17 and 18. Who are still in school.

Target audience

Law makers to make corroborating pieces of legislature that protect the children from sexual offenders. A movement named #IShallNot forget was founded recently to address such issues and a petition was ultimately handed over to the Minister of Education. We have children as young as Primary school children falling pregnant and dropping out of school every year yet

there are no countering defilement cases to match these statistics. These things need to change, children need to be protected and provided a safe environment allowing them to finish with their education with no disturbances.

Research Methodology
It is a narrative and a recount of something that happened to young girls in a rural village in the Eastern part of Botswana.

This article was all in conjunction with the #Ishall not forget movement which was perpetuated by allegations that leaders in a community were guilty of taking advantage of young girls ultimately landing one of them pregnant. below attached is the petition handed over to the relevant authorities to take the necessary precautions.

How would you conduct a follow up to your story and why?

A follow up will come if laws are amended and perpetrators are brought to task and held accountable for their wrong doings. This will be measured by the decline in statistics of pregnancy in school going children and convictions for those who are found guilty of impregnating regardless of their social standing in their respective communities.

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