Unity Dow


1959 –


Who is Unity Dow?

Unity Dow is a judge, human rights activist, and writer from Botswana. She came from a rural background that tended toward traditional values of the African kind. Her mother could not read English, and in most cases decision-making was done by men.

She studied law at the University of Botswana and Swaziland, which included 2 years spent studying at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. Her Western education caused a mixture of respect and suspicion.

As a lawyer she earned acclaim for her stances on women's rights. She was the plaintiff in a case that allowed the children of women by foreign nationals to be considered Batswana. Tradition, and prior precedent, stated nationality only descended from the father. She later became Botswana's first female High Court judge.

As a novelist she has now five books. These books often deal with issues concerning the struggle between Western and traditional values. They also involve her interest in gender issues and her nation's poverty. May 2010 her latest book was published by Harvard Press 'Saturday is for Funerals' which describes the AIDS problem in Africa. Unity Dow also contributed to the book "Schicksal Afrika" by the former German President Horst Koehler in 2009.

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Apr 23, 1959
  • University of Edinburgh
  • University of Botswana
Lived in
  • Botswana

on July 23, 2013


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