Batswana tolerant of gays, Afrobarometer says

More than half of Batswana would object to working or worshipping with someone who is in a same-sex relationship, but such intolerance is significantly less pronounced among younger and more educated citizens and appears to be declining, according to a new Afrobarometer survey.

Botswana made international headlines last year when its High Court struck down a colonial-era law that criminalised same sex relations. According to the key findings of the survey, a slim majority of Batswana, that is 52%, say they would mind having someone in a same-sex relationship as a co-worker, a supervisor or a member of their religious community (56%). 

“Similarly, half (51%) of the respondents say they would ‘somewhat’ or ‘strongly’ dislike having a neighbour who is in a same sex relationship. But nearly as many (48%) say they would like it or would not care – a view that has gained 10% points since the previous survey in 2017. Across 34 African countries surveyed in 2016/2018, only 20% of respondents expressed such tolerance,” Afrobarometer says.

Last it says tolerance of same-sex relationships is in the majority view among young respondents; 56% of those aged 18-35 say would not mind working with someone in a same-sex relationship. A majority of urban residents (57%) and respondents with post-secondary education (71%) agree.


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