Country Summary:

Board Member Rethabile Pholo
Staff Members Manteboheleng Mabetha and Ntolo Lekau
When registered 2011
Alliance focal network Women in Law Southern Africa (WLSA-Lesotho)
Government COEs 50
View the Centres of Excellence in Lesotho
Media COEs 8
Key partners Ministry of Gender and Youth, Sports and Recreation, Ministry of Local Government and Chieftainship, Women in Law Southern Africa (WLSA), EU, UNFPA, UNDP,GIZ Lesotho Council of NGOs.

Read more in the attached country report.

Lesotho Strategy Plan 2016 – 2020 

Migration, gender and sexually transmitted infections among young adults in Lesotho

This report examined the association and relationship between Migration, Gender and STIs among young adults in Lesotho. To achieve this, the first objective was to understand the historical trans-boundary relationship between Lesotho and South Africa and how it contributed to STIs among young adults in Lesotho. The report then described the relationship between migration and having had any STIs among young adults in Lesotho. After multivariate analysis the association, between gender and having had any STIs among young adults in Lesotho was explored for understanding. Methodology For data analysis, secondary data from the 2009 Lesotho Demographic Health Survey (LDHS) were used. The LDHS is a cross-sectional study, designed to provide estimates of health and demographic indicators at the national level, for urban-rural areas and for each of the ten districts in Lesotho. The sample size used for this report was N=6,270. The statistical methods employed for data analysis were descriptive analysis, to establish the distribution of young adult migrant groups, according to STIs, demographic, socioeconomic and sexual practices. A Chi-square test was done to test for association. And a multivariate analysis was done using the forward selection process, to examine the relationships between STIs, migration, gender and significant variables. Results Migration status was found to have an insignificant (p=0.237) association with STIs. On the other hand, after considering migration status and gender at multivariate level, migration status, specifically urban-non migrants, were found to have a significant (p<0.05) relationship with having had any STIs. Gender was found to have an insignificant (p=0.587) association with having had any STIs and an insignificant (p=0.365) relationship with having had any STIs. However at multivariate level being female was found to be 16% protective against having had any STIs. Conclusion The report found that the relationships between migration status and having had any STIs were closely linked to factors related to gender and social and cultural norms pertaining to sexual behaviour. These influences were reflected in the literature and empirical evidence of this research report.

Womens perceptions of the reasons of physical and sexual abuse after requesting safe sex in a sexual relationship to prevent HIV and AIDS

Women reported to have experienced physical and sexual violence after suggesting safe sex practice. The purpose of this study was to explore women`s perceptions of the reasons of physical and sexual abuse after requesting safe sex in a sexual relationship in order to prevent HIV and AIDS. A qualitative research study was carried out from 27 November to 13 December 2013. Twelve semi-structured questions were used to interview thirty female clients who used any method of family planning offered at Motebang Hospital in Maternal and Health department and they were purposively selected. The results indicated that 77% got positive responses in the first attempt of suggesting practising safe sex and reported feeling good after the male partners` positive reaction. 23% of the participants got negative responses from their male partners and also reported bad feelings afterwards. With regard to wet sex practise in the era of HIV/AIDS, 26 participants mentioned that they were practising wet sex because it was enjoyable, did not hurt and others it was because they were advised at the health facility to practise safe sex in order to prevent HIV re-infection. The rest of four participants mentioned that they practised both wet and dry sex depending on the mood of the male partner. In exploring preferred ways of communicating to men about safe sex in sexual relationships; 7% suggested manipulating the partner with delicious meals, 20% persuade partner to attend clinic as a couple, 17% respect each other by explaining the importance of condom use, consequences of not using a condom and 37% talk as usual to the partner and find a way to include safe sex information. In identifying ways of reducing physical and sexual violence among women, 20% participants thought that violent men should be taken to jail, 17% thought there was a need to provide health education to men and 30% thought that the matter was supposed to be reported to the police. The study revealed that 39% participants experienced some form of discomfort after requesting condom use in their sexual relationships. 7% felt very bad and sad, 10% sad and afraid, 5% felt like prostitute, 10% disappointed and 7% bored and insecure. It is recommended that health information should be used when suggesting condom use in a sexual relationship as it has proved not to bring negativity which might result in physical and sexual violence. The male partners who refuse to use condoms require on-going counselling and psychosocial support so that with time they might view condom usage positively. Women should be taught at health facilities and in their communities on how to communicate effectively on condom usage in order to minimise physical and sexual violence.

Ministry of Gender

The Ministry of Gender and Youth, Sport and Recreation (MGYSR), through the Department of Gender, aims to reduce gender based violence (GBV) and aim to increase the participation of all people especially women and youth in development through social, economic and political empowerment programmes.
The ministry conduct workshops, public gatherings and commemorate 16 days of activism against gender based violence (please refer to the attached videos, key activities and concept note). The ministry established Lapeng Care Centre in Maseru to accommodate women and children who need protection due to the gender based violence that they experienced.
Moreover, at both national and district level the ministry forms partnership and works closely with relevant ministries and organizations to help people who are experiencing GBV.
Thus, through its activities, the ministry aims to prevent and combat GBV, for instance, through empowering GBV survivors, etc.
The ministry has many good practices but below I will only explicitly discuss one. In 2013 (Septemberâ € “November) and 2014 (Marchâ € “April), the ministry, in collaboration with Gender Links, conducted/piloted entrepreneurship phase one and phase two training for identified GBV survivors in the following 5 selected councils in five districts in Lesotho:
Seate Community Council, Mokhotlong;
Botha-Bothe Urban Community Council, Butha-Buthe;
Berea Urban Community Council, Berea;
Mazenod Community Council, Maseru; and
Mohaleâ € ™s Hoek Urban Community Council, Mohaleâ € ™s Hoek

Approximately 20 women GBV survivors actively participated in the phase one and two training. The training aimed to contribute to the targets of the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development. It specifically addressed the following targets:
Adopt integrated approaches, including institutional cross sector structures, with the aim of reducing current levels of gender based violence by half by 2015.
Introduce measures to ensure that women benefit equally from economic opportunities, including those created through public procurement processes.

June 17, 2014

Lesotho Gender Protocol Summit 2014

LESOTHO SADC GENDER PROTOCOL SUMMIT 201450/50 by 2015 and demanding a strong post 2015 agenda! The second SADC Protocol on Gender and Development summit was held in Lesotho on the 14th -15th April 2014. Thesummit was held under the banner “50/50 by 2015 and demanding a strong post 2015 agenda!À This event marked the approaching […]

Local Government COE

The Ministry engages in a number of concerted efforts with the aim of advocating, attaining and safe guarding womenâ € ™s rights. Amongst others the Ministry has initiated the enactment of land mark legislation (Legal Capacity of Married Persons Act 2006) that affords women a broad spectrum of rights with regards to marriage and family rights, elimination of the minority status in marriage union and elimination of marital power mainly vested in men. This has guaranteed equal legal status and capacity in the civil and customary union, entailing full contractual rights, the right to acquire and hold rights in property and the right to secure credit. The Act has given rise to the amendment of The Deeds registry Act 1967 and the companies Act 1967 that respectively restricted women from registering immovable property and from becoming directors. Also in effort to advocating and safe guarding womenâ € ™s rights the ministry has taken the initiative of disseminating CEDAW together with the CEDAW concluding remarks especially with regards to equal rights to inheritance, chieftainship and abolishment of polygamy as a harmful practice to women. The ministry also engages in the commemoration of gender calendar dates e.g. Commemoration of African and Womenâ € ™s month and day, 16 days of Activism against GBV, the ministry has also from 2012 taken the initiative of celebrating Girl childâ € ™s Day in an effort to high light the importance of a girl child, protection and development of such

June 5, 2014

Reducing the vulnerability of women engaged in sex work

Lesotho Planned Parenthood Association (LPPA) with funds from Japan Trust Fund identified sex workers in the towns of Maseru and Maputsoe. The identified sex workers were given training on HIV and AIDS and STIs. They were given free health services for a period of two years from 2011 to 2012. LPPA health related services are normally paid for, but these sex workers were offered free services as a way of encouraging them to access health services. This was done with the realisation that they are very reluctant to seek medical attention even when there is a need. The project has above all provided sex workers with income generating projects of their choice

June 2, 2014

Phoning Out Poverty and AIDS through community phone shops in Lesotho, Swaziland and Mozambique

Through the phone shop IGA, the women have been empowered with entrepreneurship knowledge and skills. Through training offered by VSO- RAISA, the widows and orphans have acquired business skills and received grants to start their community and individual phone shops as well as other IGA expansion projects such as chicken rearing, pig rearing and farming.
From the income generated, the women have become providers for their households, they have been able to attend to their health care and they are now frequenting health services to get better health care for themselves and their family members.
The women are also eating better which leads to them living a healthier lifestyle and there is ART adherence due to the income generated.

June 2, 2014

Gender Miantreaming in Local government

Councillor â € ˜Maphatjana Boseka, from Ramalapi shows that she works together with the community members that do not engage in planting of fields because of a lack of equipment. She lends them materials so that they can plough their fields.

June 2, 2014


Before the Council acquired the Centre of Excellence (COE) status, it was not gender sensitive. Since then it has adopted a gender approach when awarding jobs like cleaning services. Jobs were then allocated based on gender equality.

June 2, 2014

Lesothoâ € ™s Ministry of Gender and Youth, Sport and Recreation through the Gender and Development Policy (GDP) 2003 leads all government ministries and other institutions to mainstream gender in all programmes, processes and materials to ensure equal r

The Sesotho culture is based on a patriarchal ideology whereby oneâ € ™s identity is traced through oneâ € ™s paternal lineage and descent. Some aspects of this culture have been incorporated into customary law that places women under the perpetual custody and protection of men. A number of customs and practices have evolved which give men more decision-making powers and the position of the head of household. A woman who is married in community of property owns half of the joint estate, but the whole estate is administered by the husband who is at liberty to do as he pleases with it even if it means to dispose of it, alienate or donate it to whoever he likes, without consulting the wife. Due to the changing socio-economic circumstances, it is evident that such practices should be revisited as they can be used to perpetuate gender-based violence and restrict many women from carrying on with important tasks in their lives.
Backed by a democratic mandate, Chapter II and III of the Constitution, Government is challenged by gender inequities and inequalities that fuel poverty, the increased spread of HIV and AIDS as well as increased unemployment because with retrenchment from neighbouring Republic of South Africa mines. Gender and Development is based on the realisation of human rights for all, women and men alike, holding to principles of equal participation of women and men in politics and decision-making positions; non-discrimination and the empowerment of women, men, girls and boys.

Government adopted the Gender and Development Policy in 2003. As gender inequalities and disparities paradoxically lie both at the heart of womenâ € ™s limited advancement and vulnerability, the policy seeks to redress this situation using the policy as a framework to address â € œthe challenges of gender inequities and inequalities, poverty, increased spread of HIV/ AIDS, retrenchment and unemployment by adopting a rights-based approach to developmentâ € . Policy objectives are:
â € ¢ To ensure equal opportunities and participation by women and men, girls and boys in the development process in order to promote a better standard of living for all and to achieve economic efficiency.
â € ¢ To ensure equal access to education and training, health services as well as control over resources such as land and credit.
â € ¢ To conserve positive and mitigate negative aspects of Basotho culture in order to promote equality of women and men, girls and boys and to sustain social stability and peaceful co-existence
â € ¢ To ensure that gender-sensitive laws exist and are enforced.
â € ¢ To guide in the allocation of resources and public expenditure so that they are equally beneficial to women and men, girls and boys.
â € ¢ To set guidelines for public awareness and promotion of understanding of the link between gender equality and development through the media.
â € ¢To promote equal opportunities and participation in politics and decision-making.
â € ¢To provide direction for development of effective programmes on awareness creation on the causes and consequences of gender-based violence and of mechanisms geared at eradicating such problems.
â € ¢To facilitate promotion of acquisition of life

June 2, 2014


Country ManagerManteboheleng Mabetha
Phone00 266 22 316 755
AddressGender Links Lesotho,LNDC Kingsway Mall,Block C, 4th floor, Room 421 Development House