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Amended Laws that affected the status of women

1.      Marriage Act, 2001

  • Registration of marriages of religious and customary marriages
  • Increased the age of marriage to 21 without consent
  • Persons below the age of 18 can only marriage with the consent of parents and this is inline with the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC)

2.         Public Service (Amendment) Act, 2001

  • Sexual Harassment is recognized as a misconduct, which can attract panelists under the public service.

3.            Affiliations Proceedings (Amendment) Act, 1999

  • It has made it possible for a person other than the mother of the child born out of wedlock to institute proceedings for the maintenance of the child.
  • Action can be brought against the mother of the child
  • To separate an action seeking a paternity order from that of seeking maintenance order.
  • To increase a time limit within which an action can be brought to order for maintenance.
  • To increase the amount of monthly payments which the parent should make towards maintenance of the child.

4.            Penal Code (Amendment) Act 1998

  • The definition of rape was changed to make it gender neutral and to move away from it being phallus specific.
  • Introduced a minimum sentence of 10 years to a maximum term of life imprisonment.
  • Denial of bail once one is accused of rape

5.            Criminal Procedure and Evidence (Amendment) Act, 1997

  • Provides for mandatory hearing of rape cases in camera

6.            Deeds Registry (Amendment) Act, 1996

  • Enables women whether married in or out of community of property to execute deeds and other documents permitted to be registered in the deeds registry without their husbands assistance.
  • Husband cannot deal away with immovable property registered in his name which is not excluded from community of property without the consent wife and conversely a woman cannot deal away with same property without the consent of the husband.

7.            Employment (Amendment) Act 1996

  • Women can now work underground in mines if they so choose.

8.            General Orders 1996 – Governing the conditions of service of the Public Service

  • Women employed in the Public Service are entitled to 84 calendars days maternity leave on full pay for each confinement, up to a maximum of three confinements.

9.            Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 1995

  • Children born on Batswana women married to foreigners can become citizens by a acquiring it thought their mother.

The Department is working with other Ministries and Departments to implement the recommendations of the Review of Laws. The last meeting for the stakeholders was held on 22 March 2007

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