Mathato Mantso – Lesotho

Mathato Mantso – Lesotho

Date: June 26, 2012
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Mathato Mantso, Chair of the Khomokhoana Council in Lesotho owes her current position to the one third quota for women in the country’s first local government elections in 2005. But less than two years into her new job she is confident enough to say, “I think in future we should just have open elections. We don’t want a quota. Women should stand on their own feet.”

Her council consists of 8 women and three men. In accordance with the law in Lesotho, two of these are chiefs. “Women outnumber men, but we get things done. There is a good level of co-operation,” she said. “It is important to have women who are strong and powerful; that think quickly. Even in the house women are powerful, even if they may not know it. We have to discover the power within us.”

Mantso accepts that for some women, politics is still inhibiting. She says there is no difference in attitude in Lesotho towards those who women who openly contested the elections and those who came in through the quota. But she argues that “for our credibility it is important to stand on our own and win.”



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