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Expanding the Shield and Facing the Challenges: Integration of Women in Botswana Defence Force

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Master's thesis

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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 pressures in the 21st century have softened the opposition of many influential politicians and bureaucrats to call 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 U,S, 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 available. In particular, this thesis examines the six critical policies of the U.S. 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 U,S, Armys Aberdeen Proving Ground incident, are highlighted in this thesis. 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.

Subject Categories:

  • Personnel Management and Labor Relations
  • Military Forces and Organizations

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