Through the Eyes of the Beholder: Experiences of a Woman Living in a Patriarchal Society

Through the Eyes of the Beholder: Experiences of a Woman Living in a Patriarchal Society

Nonofo Constance Losike-Sedimo (University of Botswana, Botswana)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8321-1.ch010
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Abstract

This chapter presents experiences of an elderly woman living in Africa from a Feminist theoretical perspective. Feminism is a theory that argues that men and women should be treated equally, politically, economically and socially. It includes sensitivity to all sorts of gender biases such as excluding voices of women in life debates. The aim of this chapter is to map the challenges and constraints posed by patriarchal value system, as it relates to the right to reproduction, child rearing practices and legal connotation, the discussion also includes opportunities in socio-cultural, Educational, economic and political participation. These experiences are situated in both public and private life. As the author wrote this narrative of her experiences, she went through major literature sources and could only locate a few relevant sources with similar narrations.
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Background

According to the medical records at Kanye hospital in the Southern District of Botswana, I was born on November 8th 1958 during the colonial Botswana. When I was eight years old Botswana became independent in 1966. I was born to a mixed tribe couple. My mother Orapeleng Wantwa was born and raised in Kanye from the Ngwaketse tribe. According to the traditional family history of her tribe she is from the royal family. Her tribe made history in Botswana as one of my mother’s great uncle contributed in protecting the now Botswana from being raided during the Southern Africa wars for land. According to unreferenced notes by lonelyplanet on Pre-colonial history, archaeologists and anthropologists using fragmented trail of ancient pottery, have been able to piece together the complex, crisscrossing migration of different tribal groups into southern Africa. Between AD 200 and 500 Bantu-speaking farmers started to appear on the southern landscape from the north and east of Africa. The significant development in Botswana’s long history for me is the evolution of the three main branches of the Tswana tribes during the 14th century. It is a story of family disharmony, where three brothers, Kwena, Ngwaketse and Ngwato broke away from their father Chief Malope to establish their own territories in Molepolole, Kanye and Serowe respectively. (Lonelyplanet 2013) My mother is a descendant of the brother Ngwaketse.

During the colonial history, in the 1820s the Boers began their Great Trek across the Vaal River. Many Boers (20,000) crossed into Tswana and Zulu territory and established themselves as though the lands were unclaimed and uninhabited. In my village the white settlers are the minority but still live in one ward, a few have married locals. At the Sand River Convention of 1852, Britain recognized the Transvaal’s Boers independence and the Boers informed Batswana (people of Botswana) that they were now subjects of the South African Republic. Prominent Tswana leaders Sechele I and Mosielele refused to accept white rule and incurred the violent wrath of the Boers. After heavy losses of life and land, Batswana sent their leaders to petition the British for protection. As recorded by lonely planet, in 1885, Britain resigned itself to the inevitable. (Lonelyplanet, 2013)

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