Eva Ravaloriaka – Madagascar

Eva Ravaloriaka – Madagascar

Date: July 1, 2015
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My name is Ravaloriaka Eva, mayor of the urban council of Manjakandriana. As a mayor, my duty is to ensure that everything in the council functions as it should. My first encounter with GL was during their visit to the town council in 2009. They presented the COE project and its objectives. I found it interesting and efficient. GL’s coming gave me hope in the promotion of the situation of women in my council.

I was interested in working in politics because I firmly believe that women are capable of great achievements in field of council governance. Women should give their contribution to the development of the country given the fact that they are very aware of society realities, being wives and mothers. I think that a woman is able to bring about changes while in office, because women are mature, they keep their promises, they are reliable and have the heart to listen to others.

Working with GL helped greatly because the COE process is well established and comes with plans at all levels. So, it enabled us to improve ourselves at every stage. In terms of skills, I learned to communicate better with others, to develop skills in facilitation, and to deepen my knowledge of the concept of gender.

I followed all the stages of the COE process in Manjakandriana, from Stage 1 to stage 10 and I can say that it has changed a lot of things in my council. Not only in the council’s management but also in people’s mind given the fact that all the activities organized with GL were covered in the media.

Thanks to GL, people in the council think differently about women. Not only that, but collaboration between men and women to address gender issues is stronger. All the manifestations of violence exist in my council, even the worst ones. Helping women to speak has contributed already to reduce their burden. After the first 16 days celebrated in Manjakandriana council, it was noted that men were more involved in reducing violence. During the campaigns of sensitization, I always told my story as a politician to the women victims of violence, which gave them hope and the lesson that when there is will, nothing is impossible.

My worst experience as a female mayor was during the period when rural councils all over Madagascar were given special opportunities for funding development projects. Some people spread the rumor that I spent the sum allocated for Manjakandriana. These same people assembled the population against me. They held a sit-in in front of the town council and required my resignation within the following 24 hours. In addition to insults, they also referred to me as an incompetent woman. I was upset by the situation and at the same time I was angry. I tried to be calm, and took the courage to speak in front of all of them without the help of anyone. I explained publicly that the money from the government was not transferred to my own bank account, and the cheque had been delivered just the day before. I showed them the cheque in question.

This unfortunate event taught me two lessons. Firstly, if you want be respected, you need to be self-confident and have the courage to confront any situation. Secondly, being a woman leader is quite difficult and unaccepted in a society where gender stereotypes are still anchored. As a result, you need to continuously prove to others that you are competent.

In my opinion, a good politician should be self-confident, a model for everyone, a good manager as well as a good leader, sociable, emphatic, modest, and gender sensitive.
For my part, I can say that having a female mayor has helped women in my council not only to understand their rights as wives and citizens but also to be aware of their critical role in the field of development. More and more women are aware of their Rights nowadays. I am sure that women’s conditions will improve from day to day. Fighting for gender equality is a long-lasting war that needs lots of patience and understanding. Working with men should a priority; they are considered partners for gender equality and not rivals.


0 thoughts on “Eva Ravaloriaka – Madagascar”

Gaby says:

Such awareness and strong support from grassroots need dedication and patience from the leaders. Empathy and consideration to the basic community should always be the foundations of any activity or interventions carried out in the community. Congratulations to Ms Ravaloriaka and all the best

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