How can the role and nature of Botho/Ubuntu in African societies be reconciled with the many incidences of violations of women and children’s rights we witness in modern society? How have African societies travelled from historical perspectives that highlighted definitions of integrated individual and collective humanity of all peoples to current violations that include far ranging sexual and emotional violence, forced marriage and other systemic abuses and discriminatory behaviour towards women and children? How have understandings and definitions of humanity, of the roles and status of women and children across the years been distorted and come to promote patriarchal systems of power that undermine the core notions of Botho/Ubuntu in African communities? As urbanisation, economic and political insecurity lead to patterns of migration and breakdown of extended families and community relations, how do traditional notions of Botho/Ubuntu adapt to reinstate and realign core definitions of collective humanity and in particular, women’s rights at the core of humanity? How can notions of Botho/Ubuntu influence modern responses to protect and promote the rights of women and children and reassert the interdependence of men, women and children in traditional African societies and the elimination of violations of the rights and dignity of African peoples? How can understandings of Botho/Ubuntu and the strengths of African communities in the past be used to promote healing in current contexts and reconnect with our collective humanity?
Foundation for Community Development
Graça Machel is President of the Foundation for Community Development, the UN Secretary General’s Sustainable Development Goals Advocate. She is a renowned international advocate for women’s and children’s rights and … MORE
Theo Sowa, CBE
African Women’s Development Fund
Theo Sowa is an independent advisor and consultant, specialising in international social development with a particular emphasis on children’s rights and protection issues. She is currently the CEO of the … MORE