Unity Dow

Unity Dow was the first woman to serve as a judge on the High Court of Botswana. She has spent much of her career advocating for women’s legal rights. “When you start to practice you realize how just the language of the law is so male, the culture of the law is so male. You’re beginning to think, ‘I don’t think it should be like this, I have a right to be here, I’ve earned the right to be here andtherefore this whole environment should be about me as well,’” she said. While being a lawyer is her primary career, she’s also an acclaimed author. She wrote Saturday is for Funerals, a non-fiction book about Botswana’s response to the World Health Organization’s prediction, in 2000, that 85% of 15-year-olds in Botswana would eventually die of AIDS. She’s also written several novels, including legal thrillers that explore topics such as conflicts between traditional and western values, AIDS, poverty, and gender conflicts, among other things. In 2015, she was appointed to serve as Botswana’s Minister of Education and Skills Development. As for what’s next for her, in her words: “nothing ends until you’re dead.” So, we can expect much more from this trailblazer.

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