The rate of unemployment in Botswana – which measures the number of people actively looking for a job as a percentage of the labour force – has hit an all-time high, having shot up to 23.30 percent in 2020 from 18.20 percent in 2019, according to Statistics Botswana.
This sorry state of affairs has grave effects on our society as a whole, especially on the menfolk as evidenced by recent spates of heists, femicides, suicides and other crimes.
Though it is still relatively easier for men to find employment as compared to females, it would seem the cost of living crisis is harder on the men rather than the women because of the societal pressure men face as providers.
Voice Woman went into the streets of Gaborone to ask women a simple question: would you date or marry an unemployed or broke man?
Portia Sekao, 29, Molepolole
I have been there. My boyfriend was unemployed at one point and I was very patient with him.
He had lost his job and I had to be optimistic that he would secure employment eventually.
It’s no big deal, it all depends on the strength of your relationship, I believe.
If you meet a man who loves you but is unemployed, you can still go ahead and date.
Just establish a few things: is he a driven individual?
Is he actively job-searching? That will determine everything.
He cannot just be a bum! Society places so much pressure on a man to provide even in these times of high inflation and it is totally unfair.
We need to be more empathetic and realistic since we women expect men to take care of us even when we have jobs.
Lola Motswagoleele, 20, Kanye
I’d never date a broke guy. Men are by nature very controlling so he might want to control my money and essentially call the shots or expect me to do everything.
When a man is unemployed, his ego is affected – he’s constantly paranoid; like he wants to control your movements because he might think you are seeing other guys or even colleagues.
I can only date an unemployed man if he’s pushing some hustle, otherwise we can never be an item.
Life is too tough to care for an adult.
Felicia Kerobale, 26, Molepolole
I can’t be with a man who doesn’t have an income. Isn’t it a man’s responsibility to provide?
He needs to meet me halfway, find piece jobs and try anything to put food on the table.
I am a woman and women have to be taken care of.
I have someone and fortunately he’s got a job.
Precious, 28, Gaborone
If a woman can do everything for herself, why can’t a man be expected to provide?
Find menial jobs, do something. I don’t mind dating a guy who is unemployed, as long as he’s ‘hustling’ even if he earned less than me.
Lucia Gavaza, 41, Gaborone
Let’s be honest, I’m working but my salary isn’t enough for me, let alone two people.
Perhaps if I earned a better income I’d manage, only for the sake of love.
Love isn’t enough though; I want a man who can give me money.
Ms Lebakeng, 40, Seleka
Yes, I can date a jobless man because I know he can always step up should I lose my job.
Don’t men date or marry women who are unemployed all the time?
Why should it be any different when the tables are turned?
Being without a job does not render a man useless; there are many other areas where he can be useful.
He’s still a man. I have been with my man for a very long time, and he’s currently unemployed and not at all insecure.
I advise women to respect men and resist putting them under immense pressure to provide.
Faith Gabagopolwe, 21, Mogoditshane
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with dating a man who is unemployed.
What matters really is: what kind of a man am I dating?
Is he psychologically stable? Does he treat me well?
We’re in difficult times and to have high expectations of a lover to bring any income daily even when he tries regardless of the situation we are in is unfair.
Your spouse or partner may be looking for a job without any luck, you as a woman may turn against him and go searching for a replacement: that is the sort of attitude that can provoke and frustrate a man to the point of violence hence the never-ending reports of passion killings followed by suicides.
That man loved you despite his inability to provide for you. Let’s be more understanding; things aren’t looking too good currently, jobs are hard to come by.
Keene Letsebe, 29, Malalane
I mean, are we looking for love and companionship or sponsors? All I need is love. In fact, because I have an income, I’d assist my partner to start a business so he can feel self-assured in the relationship. I think women should be more accommodating of unemployed men, let’s empower our men if we’re the lucky ones with jobs. Go thata bathong!
A man must hustle; try anything to eke out some living! I don’t expect a man to sit around at home waiting for me to bring home the bacon.
That will never work with me.
I have siblings to take care of; even they are expected to join the informal sector to try to make money for themselves.