READING THE BOOK OF ESTHER IN THE LIGHT OF BOTSWANA’S 21ST CENTURY CHALLENGES
The Book of Esther presents readers with an intriguing story of two women: Vashti and Esther. It is a story of hope for women who find themselves suffering at the hands of cruel and dangerous patriarchal homes, systems, institutions and cultures. Using the case of Botswana, this essay explores how the struggles of the two women in the book of Esther compare with the lived experiences of many African women, and Botswana’s in particular. The point I make is that the life of both Esther and Vashti resonates with the struggles of Botswana women who continue to toil and suffer from a complexity of challenges amongst them HIV and AIDS, drought and poverty. The main question I explore is what similarities and lessons, if any, can the story of Esther and Vashti offer concerning the challenges of HIV and AIDS and the declining socio-economic conditions.