Botswana’s President Mokgweetsi Masisi made history on Thursday. He became the nation’s first leader to amend an archaic and sexist law that prohibited women from being landowners, according to a tweet from the president’s official Twitter account. 

“Last year during our BDP election campaign trail I made a commitment to ensure that the Land Policy is amended so as to give married women the right to apply for land even when their husbands already have been allocated plots," Masisi tweeted.

The mandate, known as The Botswana Land Policy of 2015, banned married women from owning property.

The progressive leader pointed out the challenges women in Botswana faced due to restrictive and distorted views and laws over inheritance and assets.

"Section 72 also of the Botswana Land Policy 2015 recognizes that there are instances where some widows and orphans are compelled to head households and find themselves in an urgent need of land for residential purposes as a result of being denied access to their deceased husband’s or parents’ property,” Masisi wrote.

“However, the rights of these are protected in the law and Policy and encourage Local and Land Authorities as well as Non-Governmental Organisations to step up campaigns to educate women and orphans about their legally protected rights and offer them legal support to successfully claim their legitimate land right,” he continued.

The former Minister of Education's innovative ideas of leadership has also included his advocacy work against gender-based violence in Botswana.

In 2018, he pledged to end gender-based violence, saying that it strips women and girls the freedom to enjoy their rights. 

“As a nation, we can no longer ignore the fact that GBV has stretched its devastating tentacles across the country. GBV has undoubtedly affected our country socially and economically as women and girls contribute significantly to all spheres of life, including business, education, sport, agriculture amongst others," Masisi explained to the Botswana Daily News.

At the time, Masisi said 67% of women in the country had reported being abused emotionally or physically. 

“This figure almost doubles the [35%] of women who have experienced physical, emotional or sexual violence globally. This statistic cannot be taken lightly, more so at a time when the world is united in speaking out against GBV,” he said. 

The government has since adopted the National Policy onGender and Development which focuses on human rights.

He recently addressed the people of Botswana via Facebook Live regarding the issue.

Since his term as president began, Botswana has seen steady improvements in its economy as well, according to a report by Global News Wire. 

With Masisi’s vision of a new and improved Botswana, the nation is sure to make a positive global impact.