Lesotho: Summit calls on winners to keep driving gender equality

Lesotho: Summit calls on winners to keep driving gender equality

Date: December 1, 2015
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Maseru, 15 June: As the Lesotho Gender Protocol@Work Summit came to a close last week, Deputy Minister of Gender, Youth and Sports- Marefuoe ‘Muso spoke at the awards ceremony encouraging gender drivers of change to keep up the good work.

“Lesotho should strengthen bonds with Gender Links so that the message of gender equality can be known and acknowledged by every Mosotho man and woman. This will in return make Lesotho an exemplary country that takes gender equality as an important aspect in life,” she said.

Echoing on the Deputy Minister’s speech, programme manager for European Union (EU) in Lesotho, Mariam Homayoun said that Lesotho, like many other countries in SADC, has a long way to go in winning the fight against gender violence, and as such is extremely important to reinforce bonds between organisations like Gender Links.

“I am glad to see that Lesotho is putting a great effort in fighting for rights that protect women and girls experiencing abuse of some kind. Lesotho is a country of contrast when it comes to making its own laws, thanks to the dual constitution that entails both customary and civil laws, a clear issue of concern on the future of Lesotho,” she concluded.

One of the summit judges, Matseliso Mapetla, encouraged all the participants to use this summit as a stepping stone to improve their work. She also said everyone doing gender work should consider themselves winners. “Thank you for all your efforts and know that they have not gone unnoticed and we hope that the summit has become a stepping stone for you all to further contribute to the betterment of the country,” Mapetla said.

Palesa ‘Moleli, a winner in the Gender and Climate Change category, said that she is very happy to have been awarded as this is the first time she’s taking part in the summit. “This has really encouraged and propelled me to put more effort in the projects I am already undertaking”, she said.

Monyane has been participating in the summits since 2013. He has however not been fortunate enough to win in any of the earlier summits. Having said all this, he held that it did not stop him and his colleagues from persevering for success.

Salebalo Monyane, who finally won the first prize award in the Economic Justice and Education category said, “I am overwhelmed and very excited that I won. This marks having worked for over three years with Gender Links through its partnership with the Young Mat’sekha Against AIDS organization (YMAA) and being the first ever male participant since the commencement of gender based violence (GBV) awareness in Lesotho, I am indeed proud of this important award,” Monyane said.

“The highlight of our success is that from the year 2013 we were able to take care of a number of under privileged and orphaned children in the Berea district of Lesotho. Six of those children, including those who were once unknowledgeable herd boys and survivors of GBV, were sent to different schools to be empowered with academic knowledge. I am proud and honored to mention that as of the year 2014, three of those students had graduated and both received diplomas in nursing, while the remaining three are currently pursuing their studies at the National University of Lesotho”, an overjoyed Monyane explained.

Mpho Thaabe, winner in climate change category, expressed how this achievement has impacted both his life and many others. “With all sincerity, I would like to thank our organization YMAA for recognizing the potential in me of being an inspirational example to all our community members in Berea. But most importantly, I would like to also show gratitude on behalf of our organization, to all committees and other organizations like us who have been helping us,” Thaabe concluded.

In the Media COE category under radio, Hlompho Moeti, another first prize winner, said he was very happy to be given the award. “A promise that I make to myself and colleagues, also to our greatest supporter Gender Links, is to continue more on the work that I am doing which is creating awareness on issues concerning gender, through the eyes and ears of the people,” he said.

This article is part of the Gender Links News Service special coverage of the SADC Gender Protocol Summits underway across the region, offering fresh views on everyday news.







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