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AD8: Botswana affirm their personal freedoms but disapprove of same-sex relationships

Mogopodi Lekorwe and Kabelo Moseki 14 Dec 2014 Botswana
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Key findings
  • Batswana affirm that they enjoy freedom of expression (83%), freedom of association (94%), and the freedom to vote for whomever they choose (95%). Within the Southern 2 African Development Community (SADC), Batswana rank near the top in their assessment of their freedoms, despite a decline in perceived freedom of expression since 2008.
  • While affirming these civil liberties, six in 10 Batswana say they would object to sharing a work environment with a colleague (60%) or supervisor (61%) who is in a same-sex relationship. About the same proportion would object to sharing a religious community (62%) or a neighbourhood (56%) with a homosexual person.
  • Again, six in 10 Batswana say they would report people involved in same-sex relationships to the police or other authorities, regardless of their relationship to the people involved. Intolerance levels are lower among urban residents and younger Batswana, indicating a potential for increased social acceptance of same-sex relationships in the future.

Botswana is an electoral democracy and has been led by the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) since independence in 1966. The country is recognised for upholding democratic
principles and has continuously received high ratings by the Ibrahim Index of African Governance and Freedom House. Botswana’s constitution embraces the protection of
fundamental rights and freedoms of expression, assembly, and association. However, some sexual acts, including certain same-sex acts, are illegal.

Prof. Mogopodi Lekorwe

Mogopodi is the Afrobarometer national investigator in Botswana

Kabelo Moseki

Kabelo Moseki is a senior lecturer in the Department of Statistics at the University of Botswana and a research associate with Star Awards.