Thursday, January 03, 2013


Being a woman, I was concerned with reading about the risks that young women put themselves into when they become pregnant out of wedlock in Oman. Contraceptions are only given to women who are married as out of wedlock sex is considered a sin.

Oman, a small country in the Gulf, is booming with wealth partly because of it's oil exports. This economic growth has pushed the country to educate more women as it needs an educated workforce. More women are now having day to day contact with men then they would have back in their tribal villages.

The economic boom unfortunately has not led to cultural change as women who are pregnant outside a marriage are considered to have dishonored the family and could lead to beatings and in extreme cases death. Women will also not be 'marriageable' after the pregnancy.

These attitude has led to a substantial number of women feeling like they have to abort secretly rather than bring shame to their parents. However in Oman, abortion is illegal unless the mother's life is in danger. The women, whether influenced by family members or their decision, go to back street abortionist to have the abortion.

Doctors in Oman told reporters that an average of two unmarried women are admitted to emergency wings and some of the women do not make it. They said that there are about 50 to 70 abortions carried out illegally every year. These are worrying statistics, but the government says it will not change their laws of giving contraceptives to unmarried women as the community will be outraged.

A reporter wrote that one father said not one single parent will agree to having their daughters being given free contraception-though the article did not say what kind of contraception they are talking about, I am assuming that they mean pills, injections and condoms. The father said parents feel that this will lead to their daughters being promiscuous.

Illegal abortions will continue and perhaps increase in Oman, putting women at risk if Conservative attitudes about sex are not changed in the country.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Gun sales in America


It is worrying indeed that after the Newtown, Connecticut tragedy, that people could rush to gun stores to arm themselves. Maybe it is because I am a foreigner from the American culture that I really do not understand their need for guns. News blogs have been a buzz about how gun sales have soared over the weekend after the tragedy of a 20 year old shooting 26 people, 20 of them children under the ages of 10. I wish someone would explain to me why a person needs a semi-automatic weapon to go deer hunting? It is not as if congress or the White House would have a TOTAL ban on guns.

Some good news is that the company that makes bushmaster guns like the one used in the Sandy Hook massacre was put up for sale by the private equity owner. Although it is a sale and not a closure, it is a move into the right direction.

In Botswana, there is presently a total prohibition on the issuing of handgun licences to individuals. People who can possess and carry firearms are serving members of the police and defence force. And even this is restricted - ordinary police personnel do not carry firearms except for special operations, and there is only a limited issue of firearms to other members of the public service in the prisons service and wildlife and national parks department. Hunters are also subject to strict control with a limited quantity of 400 licences issued annually - 200 for shotguns and 200 for rifles. These are allocated randomly by an annual raffle of the approved applications. Exception is made for the safari industry and some cattle owners if they can prove they are troubled by predators.

If America has got no clue on how to have a gun-free country, there could look at countries like Botswana or China. People can live in their homes without guns and hunters can hunt with limited firearms.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Obama-vigi for Sandy Hook victims


US President Barack Obama yesterday addressed the community of Newtown Connecticut where he expressed his condolences and grief over the killing of 26 people, 20 being children under the age of 10. In his speech President Obama said the tragedies of mass killings by guns must end but he never made a firm commitment on controlling guns in America. Since then debates of gun control have dominated mainstream media in the US but from what I gather from the debates, even though people are horrified by the actions of Adam Lanza, Americans do not want to let go of their guns. Though they see the damage that guns do within their society, they still cling tightly to them. To me, being an outsider I find this strange. How do they believe that having more than one gun in a household leads to safety? How does having automatic guns lead to their freedom to hunt. I think that somewhere the whole 'right to bare arms' in their constititution has gone out of control. And until the American people and their politicians rise up, more people could continue losing their lives to guns. When Mr Obama goes back to the White House, he must remember the words he said that change is needed to end the tragedies of mass killings.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Sandy Hook tragedy


photo from Associate Press
The tragedy from Newtown, Connecticut keeps pulling me back as my head is filled with questions that I'm sure even the authorities in Newtown will never find out. Today, the police released the names of the children and adults killed by Adam Lanza. There were twelve girls and eight boys all between 6 and 7 years old. Young children who all had their lives ahead of them.

The thing that has given me hope in these pain filled tragedy is the resilience of the families that lost loved ones. Emilie Parker's father said 'he was not mad', and offered his love to the families that suffered including the shooter's family. His forgiveness is something we as human being could all learn from as we move towards Christmas.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Newtown, Connecticut shooting


It is a sad day, an event that one cannot wrap their heads around. My heart is filled with grief and I realised that my sadness must be a small thing compared to what the families of Newtown, Connecticut must be feeling.

A lone man of 20 years old, feeling and thinking what ever he must, to walk into an elementary school- here in Botswana we call it a Primary School- and start shooting. 20 young children in the ages of 5 to 10 years old killed by this young man. 6 adults were also murdered.

One of the adults, the principal of the Sandy Hook Elementary Dawn Hochsprung had just recently implemented new security measures at the school but that seemed to not helped as the shooter was able to enter and move to the administration offices.

America is now starting to debate the issue of gun control, as has been done in previous shootings. But I don't know if gun control will stop the mass killings that seem to have plagued the USA. I think part of it must be the mental state of the people, their family background. I mean the shooter from Sandy Hook had guns that his mother owned. Why did a woman own 3 pistols and a rifle gun? I feel questions like these must be asked and answers given to get to the bottom of the crisis.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Ghana opposition to contest poll results


Ghana opposition leader Nana Akufo-Addo
It is a sad fact that elections hardly go smoothly in Africa. Ghana, an African country that most regard as a stable and democratic is going through a shaky moment. The main opposition party, the New Patriotic Pary-NPP is rejecting the results from Friday's elections.Even when the Independent Electoral Commission and international poll observers said the elections were credible, free and fair, NPP thinks otherwise. It has declared, through it's chairperson Jake Obestsebi Lamptey that the party will contest the election results in court. Though considering how other African countries have had riots and civil war when opposition parties do not accept elections, going through court is very democratic. And it is their right.But I just don't figure out how they are the only ones that think that the results are fraudulant. Poll observers (local and international) and Ghanians themselves (other than NPP party members) accept that the results are true. As  African Union (AU) commission chairman, Benin's President Thomas Yayi Boni said,let's hope that this disagreement will not trigger violence in Ghana and will be resolved through democratic means.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Has been awhile

It has been a long time since I've blogged. But I'm back, so prepare to see more interesting posts in the future of stories, movies, news, music that I find interesting and hope that you find interesting too.