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Gender-Based Violence against Zimbabwean Migrant Women in Botswana

Tholwana B. Kereeditse, Stanley Osezua Ehiane, David Mandiyanike, Claudine Hingston

Article ID: 2650
Vol 9, Issue 7, 2024, Article identifier:

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This study prioritises the experiences of Zimbabwean migrant women and their human security in the context of gender-based violence in Botswana. The study utilised the social constructivism theory and the social-ecological model to provide a comprehensive understanding of how gender-based violence occurs in society and how social realities construct migrant women’s experiences. Using a qualitative research approach, secondary data was collected to investigate the gender-based violence experiences of Zimbabwean migrant women. The study found that migrant women experienced various forms of abuse, including intimate partner violence with both foreign and local partners, sexual violence and harassment in their host communities, trafficking and smuggling, and sexual abuse in detention centres, all rooted in xenophobic sentiments. Power imbalances and irregularities in structural relationships between men and women were identified as significant factors contributing to violence. The findings indicate that cultural beliefs and gender roles from the country of origin and host country contribute to migrant women’s reluctance to report or disclose their experiences of gender-based violence. Patriarchal ideologies further affect judgment towards survivors and contribute to the acceptance and normalization of gender-based violence. This study contributes to the literature on human insecurities faced by migrant women and their responses to these insecurities. It highlights the need for policies that address the underlying causes of gender-based violence and promote the empowerment of migrant women.


human security; migration; gender-based violence

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