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While a woman mav enter a binding transaction as a public trader, she may become a trader only with her husband's consent.Under customary law a husband may have additional wives after consulting with his first wife and the families, although this practice is dying out.
Each of the Tswana tribes is rep- resented in the House of Chiefs while other groups are allowed onlv a subchief.Groups living nomadic life-styles in remote areas have difficulty participating in the political process and are poorly represented in politics (see Section 5). Government Attitude Toward International and Nongovernmental Inves- tigation of Alleged Violations of Human Rights Local human rights groups operate openly and independently.The Botswana As- sociation for Human Rights, organized in 1989, aims to focus national attention on laws needing reform, to neighten public awareness about human rights, and to pres- sure the Government to ratify more of the existing international human rights in- struments.After the large scale repatriation of South Africans in early 1992, the number of refugees in Botswana is down to about 300.South Africans continued to be processed as refiigees in 1992, but displaced persons arriving from more distant east and central African countries are frequently de- tained as illegal immigrants and are not referred to the UNHCR for possible refugee status. Respect for Political Rights: The Right of Citizens to Change Their Govern- ment Botswana have the right to peacefii Uy change their government through demo- cratic means, although in practice one pajty, the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), has dominated Parliament and held the Presidency since independence.Members of Parliament are elected by secret ballot and universal suffrage of citizens 21 years of age and older; the President is elected by the Parliament.
In the National Assembly, 34 of the 38 members are elected every 5 years; the remaining 4 are appointed by the President.
Abortion is tdlowed in cases of rape, incest, when the physical or mental health of a mother is threatened, or when the child is likely to suffer grave physical or mental abnormalities.
If the health of a married couple's child is at risk, or the mother is an unwed minor, abor- tion is a family decision.
Marriage license applications are increasingly accompanied by explanations of marriage "out of common property" under whiai a woman retains the property she brings to a marriage as well as full adult legal standing after marriage.
A married woman is required to obtain her husband's permission for the use of contraceptives or for operations to prevent conception.
In the 1989 elections, the BDP won 31 of the 34 elective seats.