Molisana Nkheloane -Senekane Council COE

Molisana Nkheloane -Senekane Council COE

Date: June 30, 2015
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Molisana Nkheloane’s first experience with Gender Links was at a COE workshop, where he was taught about the gender issues. In the past, the message on gender was not well delivered, and people interpreted it in different ways. Most people thought that when people talked of gender, only a woman is in the picture. Gender Links trainings were very important to the councillors, because there was a lot of patience and understanding until people could see what is needed for change.

Nkheloane’s journey with Gender Links was not easy. It was particularly challenging when he was supposed to deliver a message to men who thought like he did before meeting with Gender Links, that women were being encouraged to disrespect their husbands.

Having met with Gender Links, his life has changed, and he continues to change the lives of those who live with him. He used to be a farmer before he was elected in to office; he planted and sold what he grew. Now he works at the council of Senekane, and being a farmer, he gives to the people who are needy. He conducts gatherings in his village; he trains young people of being good farmers. In the time that he was trained by Gender Links about gender issues, he was able to gather men who stand against gender based violence. They now all teach and guide people concerning gender issues, especially during the 16 days. At first, he was not even aware of those days.

At first, Nkheloane found that men held a lot of negative attitudes towards questions about gender. Some men were eager to learn, but they were slow to change their minds. Since Gender Links staff was patient with the councillors, he said he leaned to be patient with the villagers. Some will learn and understand quickly; indeed, they were on the same track with women and agreed that women should be given equal opportunities as men.

The fact that Gender Links came to train councillors about gender issues has been a very big opportunity. The staff unpacked every detail; they came and explained everything until it was well understood. The confidence of Gender Links staff has taught Nkheloane and his colleagues to have the courage to stand in front of people and teach them with confidence. This means he can pass on everything he has learned to the community. Men had always been stagnant with their culture. They thought that they were given the power to take precedence over women, instead of looking at giving people equal chances in everything, especially in decision making.

Being a politician has always been a passion for Nkheloane, even though he had not learned to speak fluently to people. Gender Links has given him a very important skill that no one can take it away from him. He has taught villagers about gender issues, until they understand. More men are now involved; studies about gender issues are being delivered even in the absence of Gender Links. He will always commend Gender Links for the good work they have done, to open the councillors eyes about gender issues. The regular follow up workshops have also played an important role to show how much they cared. The staff of Gender Links has been helpful in many different ways. As a result the women are encouraged to stand in positions that were previously provided for men.

In teaching the councillors, more villagers are engaging themselves on the issues of gender and even take the initiative to teach some of the people who still don’t understand. More projects are emerging helping the needy and those who need the jobs togged them. Gender Links has been made available to the community even in its absence due to the fact that people are open-minded, and knowledge is spreading.

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