Herilala Tsimba Razakaina – Madagascar

Herilala Tsimba Razakaina – Madagascar

Date: June 30, 2015
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For three years now, I have been the deputy mayor of the rural council of Antanamitarana. I am an active member of the gender and GBV committee. In addition, I’m also president of an association called “Kilonga,” which means children. We work for the protection of children’s rights, and own a private primary and secondary school in the council.

My first contact with Gender Links was in 2008, when the local team come to Antanamitarana for the first time. That was when we learned about the SADC protocol on Gender and Development. Then, I attended all their trainings, including the national summit in 2012. I am very enthusiastic about the training and capacity building provided by Gender Links. The only thing I can recommend is that more partners be made aware of their work.

Since my first contact with Gender Links, I’ve become strongly convinced that minds can change. People are ready to accept that GBV should be punished. I can also say that thanks to Gender Links, I learned a lot about gender, and I now share my knowledge with my friends and family. I have also gained skills in conflict resolution; this was one of the modules discussed during trainings, and has been particularly important to me.

All the Madagascar Gender Links staff have brought me a lot. Thanks to Ialfine Papisy for her dynamism, and her strength of persuasion. Thanks to Zoto for his management qualities, and thanks to Claudia for her skills and availability.

Working with GL allowed me to boost my knowledge on gender equality. It has particularly highlighted for me the importance of education. This is the only way we will change attitudes in the long run. While in the past I would have accepted it, now I am working to create equality between my children, as well as with my wife in my own home. It is obvious that my family was very helpful, because we discuss gender a lot. My friends and my religious community have also helped me in this change.

As a director of a private school, I can directly apply my knowledge of gender in the way I manage the institution. I think that gender should be mainstreamed from the first day at school. For instance, when I have meetings with school teachers, I try to integrate a gender approach in every subject, because I am convinced that boys and girls have the right to be treated in the same way. I am working now to initiate special courses on gender and the fight against GBV at every level.

The life change of one person can influence others when this person becomes a role model. That is why I would like to continue in this way, learning from Gender Links and then sharing this knowledge with others. I see the conviction in the gender activists around me, and know that we will make progress.


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