IS AFFIRMATIVE ACTION NECESSARY FOR BOTSWANA?

Koketso Jeremiah

Abstract


This study sought to find out if affirmative action is necessary in Botswana given the fact that various groups of people are being discriminated against in various ways. These groups of people include: ethnic minority groups, married women, and girls. The study answered various questions and addressed various objectives. The questions were: 1. Should minority languages be used to broadcast certain programmes in the national media such as national radio stations and the national television station? 2. Should minority languages be used in the print media to disseminate information of national importance? 3. Should minority languages be used as media of instruction in Botswana public primary and secondary schools? 4. Should neutral words be used to name land boards and the country Botswana instead of the use of names that promote the languages of the majority ethnic groups as it is currently the case? 5. Should the requirement that married women get the consent of their husbands to obtain loans from banks or when applying for plots (land) be discontinued? 6. Should cultures that promote the education for boys at the expense of education for girls discontinue the practice? 7. Should the number of women both in Parliament (National Assembly) and Councils be increased to ensure that women have more representations in these institutions? 8. Should all senior tribal authorities recognized by their tribes as chiefs be referred to as Paramount Chiefs so that the House of Chiefs become a non-discriminatory institution? 9. Based on the responses, what recommendations can you make that can be implemented to remedy the current situation in which minority languages are marginalized and discriminated against in broadcasting all the programmes on national radio stations and Botswana’s only television station? The objectives were: 1. To find out if the minority languages in Botswana should be used to broadcast certain programmes in the national media such as the national radio stations and the national television station. 2. To find out if minority languages should be used in the print media to disseminate information of national importance.3. To find out if minority languages should be used as media of instruction in Botswana public primary and secondary schools.4. To find out if neutral words should be used to name land boards and the country Botswana instead of the use of names that promote the languages of the majority ethnic groups as it is currently the case.5. To find out if the requirement that married women get the consent of their husbands to obtain loans from banks or when applying for plots (land) should be discontinued. 6. To find out if cultures that promote the education for boys at the expense of girls should discontinue the practice.7. To find out if the number of women both in Parliament (National Assembly) and Councils should be increased to ensure that women have more representations in these institutions/8. To find out if all senior tribal authorities recognized by their tribes as chiefs should be referred to as Paramount Chiefs so that the House of Chiefs becomes a non-discriminatory institution. 9. To determine recommendations that can be implemented to remedy the current situation in which minority languages are marginalized and discriminated against in as far as the national media is used in Botswana. The study intended to sample a reasonable number of students in a class of thirty-five (35). Questionnaires, which were the only data collection instrument used, were distributed to all students in class. Only four (4) students responded to the questionnaire. They therefore, formed the sample for the study. The study found that all the groups identified (ethnic minority groups, married women, and girls) were discriminated against in various ways by various groups of people in Botswana. As a result, affirmative action was found to be a necessary remedy to address the situation and various recommendations were identified to address specific situations. For example, on the issue of exclusion of minority ethnic groups’ languages with respect to their use in the national media, it was recommended that these languages be used in such media so that they are treated with equal dignity visa-a-vis the languages of majority ethnic groups. 

 

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Keywords


affirmative action, Botswana, House of Chiefs, Paramount Chiefs, national media

References


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