UNITY DOW-COURTING JUSTICE

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Unity Dow is a Botwana Human Rights activist and Justice.Born in 1959, She grew up in the village of Mochudi, her mother, a seamstress, could only read some Setswana while her father was more literate. She studied the University of Botswana and Swaziland, with two years at Edinburgh University, Scotland.
 
As a lawyer she earned acclaim for her stances on women's rights. She was the plaintiff in a ground-breaking legal case in which Botswana's nationality law was overturned, propelling the passage of legislation through which women married to foreign nationals were enabled to pass on their nationality to their children.  In January 1998, she was appointed as Botswana's first female judge of the High Court.
Prior to her appointment, she worked as a prosecutor in the Attorney-General's office and a partner in Botswana's first all female private law practice. She was able to win important advances in laws pertaining to child support, rape and married women's property rights. She established a women's centre in her home village and co-founded the Women and Law in Southern Africa Research Project.

Dow was one of three judges who decided the now internationally acclaimed Kgalagadi (San, Bushmen or Basarwa) court decision, concerning the rights of the San to return to their ancestral lands. After retiring from the High Court Botswana, after 11 years of service, she opened the Legal Firm "Dow & Associates" in Botswana. 
 
Dow is an Executive Committee member of the International Commission of Jurist She is also a member of International Women's Rights Watch, an advocacy organization. February 2010, Unity Dow was sworn in as Justice of the IICDRC (Interim Independent Constitutional Dispute Resolution Court) of Kenya by the Kenyan President to serve implementing the new constitution in Kenya.
July 14th, 2010, Dow was awarded the French Medal of the Legion d'Honneur de France by representatives of the French President Nicolas Sarkozy for her human rights activities.
 

She is also a well-known fictional writer whose novels deal with issues concerning the struggle between the Western culture and the traditional values. Dow also talks on gender, poverty, justice and power in her books. Her most recent novel Saturday is for Funerals deals with the AIDS pandemic in Botswana.
  
 

 

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