Expanding the shield and facing the challenges : integration of women in Botswana Defense Force
Mophuting, Mpho C.
Armstead, J. Holmes
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Botswana remains one of the few countries in the world (and the only country in the South African Development Community (SADC)) where females are legally prohibited from joining the military. The political and social pressure in the 21st century has softened the opposition of many influential politicians and bureaucrats to calls for inclusionary statutes. This thesis examines the possibility of opening doors to women in the Botswana Defence Force (BDF). It examines the policies, programs and scope of the role of women in the US armed services, Canadian Forces (CF) and the South African National Defence Forces (SANDF). It identifies from these highlights the most effective approaches to recruiting, training, and retaining women in the BDF once the opportunity is availed. In particular, this thesis examines the Six critical policies of the US armed services and the CF, namely, sexual harassment, fraternization, employment of women, equal opportunity, pregnancy, and family care. This thesis considers the lessons from these for the BDF. Two critical cases of sexual harassment, (the 1991 Tailhook Navy and Marine Corps Convention and the 1996 US Army's Aberdeen Proving Ground incident), are highlighted in the study. The leading recommendations emphasize the need for the BDF to take the steps required to evoke a cultural change to affect the attitudes and perceptions of personnel and to examine how the SANDF administers its policies as they pertain to women.
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