The Rainbow Identity Association (RIA) on Wednesday March 14 made a presentation to Masters students at the University of Botswana about sexual orientation and gender identity.
The Rainbow Identity Association logo
Rainbow Identity were at the university as invited guests of the Communication for Development Masters programme and the dialogue was aimed at raising awareness among media students who are looking at media as a strong advocacy tool.
Dr Sethunya Mosime, a lecturer at the University of Botswana said during the talks, “We know that media are gate keepers, therefore they determine what goes out and what does not.”
Rainbow Identity was invited as they deal with gender identity issues in Botswana, a country with a conservative community and where sex and sexuality issues are not spoken about.
Mosime expounded on this theme saying, “Looking at HIV/Aids messages such as ABC (Abstain, Be faithful, use a Condom), how do you abstain in a marital status when we actually cannot acknowledge the fact that there is marital rape?”
Acknowledging that dialogue and participation are key to strengthening identities, trust, commitment, ownership of ideas, expressions and community organization, Rainbow Identity said it is very important to plant a seed in the young minds, as students will at some point having to face the outside world and have a better understanding of gender identity and sexual orientation.
The team from Rainbow Identity explained that communication for social change contributes to put the decision making about development in the hands of the people.
In a vote of thanks to the Rainbow Identity presentation, Rosemary, one of the students said, “Thank you very much RIA for this opportunity, we appreciate this dialogue as some of us had never heard of intersex or transgender. Some of us never knew the difference between transgender and gay. Information and sensitization is very important although we must acknowledge that some people are allergic to information.”
Source – Behind The Mask