Manoosi Khetsi-Likila Council COE

Manoosi Khetsi-Likila Council COE

Date: July 1, 2015
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Manoosi Khetsi is a well respected and very powerful woman in her village, both in politics and in other social development activities.

She is the councillor of Tsime village where she also works as a village health worker. Her career is challenging as she serves a remote village of Lesotho, particularly in this era of HIV and AIDS. She is heavily involved in care work and has encouraged many women and men to join the careworker groups to support those living with HIV and other related diseases within the village.

Khetsi first met Gender Links (GL) during the workshop held for women who were standing for local government elections. Her council is a GL Centre of Excellence (COE) therefore she continues to interact with GL through her council work. She regularly attends GL workshops during COE workshops.

Khetsi has inspired many people in her village with the work that she is doing as a woman. She has encouraged many men to join and support the various groups she works with that care for sick people in her village.

More men now understand the importance of being part of support groups in the village. Men previously viewed care work as a woman’s job; however, Khetsi’s advocacy work on the issue has influenced men to understand that care work is for everyone. More men are now joining the support groups as a result.

Khetsi has a lot of influence in her village because she is a very strong political leader. People like her and will listen to her. She views these qualities-strength and attentiveness-as the main reasons why she is able to make a difference in so many lives.

When Khetsi started in politics, she struggled to win the hearts of men and to convince them that care work needs the involvement of men. They called her names, particularly that she wanted to be a ‘master of everything’ in the village.

“They called me names, but I got support from some people, who advised me to change my tactics assuring me of winning more support in the village,” said Khetsi.

Khetsi says she consults with GL when faced with difficult and challenging situations. She has learned that more work can be done through joined hands.

Khetsi says she has learned a lot working with GL, and she has gained skills on conflict management and how to empower women economically. Support groups also engage in small scale farming like production of vegetables for better health.

“All these have been gained through working with GL during the many COE workshops held where the candidate was a participant. People understand differently issues of gender as opposed to before and there is some change in attitudes,” said Khetsi.

Khetsi acknowledges that support from other women is important to her success; in particular when women helped men to understand the necessity of being involved in care work. They helped each other realise that care work does not only involve washing the sick but also involves many issues like counselling, which involves entire families and communities to support each other.

As a politician, Khetsi believes that she has to help people change their own lives. Since they elected her into Council, her community also hopes that she will be able to influence change:

“As a woman also, I believe that it is time for women to show the world that women are equally capable like men to bring change in peoples’ lives. Men should not feel intimidated by the presence of women but rather they should take advantage of that and join efforts and promote the economy,” said Khetsi.

Many people are inspired by others who do good things, so this can easily change other people’s lives in that they would want to associate with such people and also do good things. This is the case with Khetsi, more people are happy to work with her and at the end of the day that brings about change in those people lives.

Finally, she plans to work with more villages within the Likila Council so that people within these villages also see the importance of care work and involving men in this area of work.

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