Mapitso Phera – Lesotho

Mapitso Phera – Lesotho

Date: May 29, 2012
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I am from the village of Quthing, and I love politics. I had it in me to be a leader from an early age, but it was difficult. My parents did not like the path I was choosing, but I kept pushing, and pushing. When I was invited to the Gender Links workshop which was going to talk about women in politics, I was very glad that there are organizations that support women. It was the time of local government elections, which made it an opportune moment, knowing the challenges that so many women face in running for public office.

The training was very important for me, because it gave me skills and information on how to plan campaigns. Many of us were representing a political party, and this added an additional challenge, because our campaigns had to have the approval of our constituency committee. It took a lot of time and balancing, for people to view us both as individual members of society, and also representatives of a political party.

In the end, I wasn’t elected, but I took a lot away from the experience. At the moment, I’m supporting a person who will contest for the coming national elections as part of our political party. My involvement in the last elections has shown me that I have potential, and people appreciate my efforts and the service I bring to the community and the party.

I hope to keep working in the community, and motivate men and youth to join support groups. At first, these were seen as women’s jobs, and I would like to change that perception. I would also like to contest for the 3rd round of local government elections next term. I have more confidence and experience now, and I think through continued work with Gender Links, with people in my community, and with my political party, I can go far.


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