Assistant Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Kgotla Autlwetse has urged fathers to claim their rightful place in the family.
Speaking at the fifth installment of the EBAT Relationship Seminar in Tati Siding on Fathers Day (Sunday), Autlwetse described modern-day dads as ‘troubled souls’.
“He is heavily laden with all the repercussions of unemployment, starvation, stagnation, divorce, sickness, death and general lack. His macho is obliterated. He, therefore, feels vulnerable, weak and failing,” reasoned the veteran politician, who himself is a well-known doting dad.
He pointed out such stress has been exacerbated by Covid-19, which has effected economies both at national and household level.
“Covid-19 pandemic is indeed an assault on the family. When it shrinks the head of the household, it puts the entire family value system in disarray,” warned Autlwetse.
The Assistant Minister also highlighted a sharp rise in gender-based violence (GBV) cases since the outbreak of Covid-19 last April and the subsequent lockdowns.
According to Autlwetse, the 2018 National Relationship Study indicates that just over two-thirds of women in Botswana (67 percent) have experienced some form of violence in their lifetime.
He further revealed the 2019 World Population Review classified Botswana as the second-worst country in the world for rape.
He mentioned places like Letlhakane, which recorded 95 rape cases and 17 defilement cases in the first six months of 2020.
Autlwetse further focused the microscope of shame on Molepolole, which recorded 107 rape cases, 107 defilement cases and 124 threat-to-kill cases by November 2020.
Reiterating the importance of such a seminar, which was held virtually under the theme ‘Fatherhood and Good Male Parenting: Impact on Family’, Autlwetse said the statistics are symptoms of a society in distress, and accuses men and fathers.
“Let us face our worst fears entrenched in patriarchal fallacies. Detox. Reset and re-claim our rightful position of a Godly appointed overseer who is above reproach,” he said.
The Assistant Minister further thanked EBAT Management for standing by their dream of fostering Vision 2036, Pillar 2: Human and Social Development despite the many challenges faced by the hospitality industry during the pandemic.