Political Literacy for Women’s Empowerment in Botswana: A Feminist Perspective

Wapula N. Raditloaneng


This article serves to illuminate that Botswana’s political landscape in the last 49 years has been very dramatic in the trend of women’s visibility in cabinet and parliament. Post independence trends indicate non-existence of women in the first Botswana parliament, a gradual increase in the number of women in parliament during the 1990s, ranging from 5 to 8, and a sharp collapse in the last decade to only 6 in 2014 (Botswana Gazette, 2014). Women, just like men, need to be groomed to be politically literate and aggressive to make a transition and compete with their male counterparts for parliamentary and cabinet seats. Women’s political illiteracy and history of being invisible in Southern African arliaments, particularly the highest decision-making organ of the Government of Botswana, is evident, based on numbers. Politics has remained a male province, with very few women as cabinet ministers or members of parliament. Based on an analysis of trends in the political landscape in Botswana, political ethnography, historiography and the Critical Third World Feminist Theory, the authors argue that lack of political literacy and patriotism are major sources of women’s failure to make it to parliament. These pose implications for accelerated role of Adult Continuing and lifelong education of women in politics to raise their level of political literacy.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.22158/wjer.v3n1p127


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