Juliette Rahantarivony – Madagascar

Juliette Rahantarivony – Madagascar

Date: June 30, 2015
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Rahantarivony was a councillor when the former President of Madagascar was in power, but since the political turmoil began, and given that she was close to the former President, she lost her seat. She nevertheless went back to her post as Librarian at the Police Station of Moramanga. She told Gender Links that she learnt so much even in one workshop that she makes it a point to act as an educator on gender issues.

As a Councillor, Rahantarivony was very active in the life and development of the Council. She wanted to make sure that the community had a better quality of life. She did not have the budget needed, but looked for in kind support or funding so that she could put projects in place to help the vulnerable.

“I will always be grateful to Gender Links for the training I received. My only regret is that I could not do all the stages, as this would have helped me even more.” Rahantarivony said that this training helped her to go on television, and to encourage women to come forward so that they can share their experiences for the benefit of other women. 90 to 100 women attended a three day workshop where lots of social problems were raised. An Action Plan was developed.

“I know I am a good model for the community, but if I were married maybe people would have looked at me differently. So my regret is that I am not married.”

Rahantarivony finds it unfortunate that leaders think that they know best. They cannot know the problems of the community. It is only when politicians work hand in hand with grassroots people that problems can be solved. She also feels that there is a lack of communication between the community and the politicians.

Rahantarivony has an open door policy, and when she was a councillor people would knock at her door any time and she was always ready to help. “People would come for any kind of problem and the most common one was water. People respect me and they believe in me otherwise they would not have knocked at my door.”

One of the projects that she was involved with was making proper road in her Fouktanay. She said she would have loved to do a follow up when people in her community go on medical treatment. “For me this is part of the job of a real leader.”

Her worst experience is the political turmoil in Madagascar which had a direct bearing on her as her political leader, the Former President of Madagascar, had to go into exile. She also lost her seat as Councillor. “We now know the consequences. We live in a country where peace does not prevail.” Rahantarivony told Gender Links that she is still sad for her country, as the Former President could have helped to put Madagascar on its feet. The political turmoil was bad for the country, without mentioning that so many lives were destroyed.

Her best experience is when she had the idea of giving food to the poor. After hearing the needs of vulnerable people in the community, she went to see a priest and the priest agreed that she would cook a decent meal with these people. She got in kind support from a French lady who gave her rice and milk. “I cooked and served them on my veranda. I ate with them.” Rahantarivony is a social worker at heart, and has no problem mingling with the poor and living like them.

Without Gender Links, she would not have realised the importance of gender equality. She said she benefitted a lot although she did not do all the stages of the COE workshops. She now takes into account the needs of women and the needs of men. She is implementing all she has learned from the training. She knows how to talk to the media. She regret that she felt sick during the training and had to spend a few days in hospital. When she came out the workshop was over.

Rahantarivony is not only a politician at heart but a social worker as well. She has lots of projects in her head that she would like to implement. ” I would like to see people living in a clean environment with no waste in the streets. This will prevent all sorts of diseases and illnesses.”

She hopes that all will be in order in Madagascar and she will get a ticket to stand as candidate for the next local elections. “If I become councillor again I am sure there are many projects I can implement, especially now that I have the skills and knowledge from Gender Links.”


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