Nyoloho Chobokoane-Ramapepe Council COE

Nyoloho Chobokoane-Ramapepe Council COE

Date: June 30, 2015
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Nyoloho Chobokoane first met Gender Links during the COE workshops held for the council of Ramapepe as part of the Centres of Excellence process in Lesotho. At first, he did not understand what gender is all about. He said, “When I met Gender Links, I thought gender only dealt with women and their interests; whenever gender was mentioned all that came into my mind was a woman. Most of the times when it was mentioned I lost interest in whatever was said.”

In the beginning, Nyoloho Chobokoane was just a councillor with no clear understanding of gender issues. He lived like any other Mosotho man, a very traditional man who always protected his culture and customs, and who still thought that women were children and could not make decisions or bring about any change in life. Men have always been in control of everything in their families. Having met with Gender Links, Chobokoane’s mindset has changed about gender issues.

As a farmer, Chobokoane has achieved a lot of things, and shared with people in his community. He is also a member of police forum. As a councillor who has been enlightened, he now holds gatherings in his village to give back to the community what he has been given. Some men are still adamant about their thoughts of women being treated as equal; others are willing to change their minds. Most targeted people are youth, because the young generation can understand gender issues much more easily. If young people can be taught to be gender sensitive, we are sure of a future generation which is also gender sensitive; women will not be seen and treated as minors but as people who can be trusted for bigger and better things. One day they will manage the politics of the country.

A lot has changed in Chobokoane’s life. Women are involved in every decision, including political matters and other decisions that were believed to be for men. Chobokoane is more gender sensitive. He has gatherings to teach people about gender issues, and teaches the community to treat each other as co-workers, not treating some people are inferior to others.

Most men like Nyoloho Chobokoane protect their culture and have respect for it. He is admired as a hero now because he sees things differently from other men. Since Gender Links staff has had a say in his life, he is now a teacher about ending domestic violence and impacting the lives of men like him in his village, Sefali. Through people like Nyoloho Chobokoane, Gender Links is extending its hand to change many peoples’ lives indirectly. More and more people are becoming gender sensitive and supporting efforts towards women’s empowerment. They no longer see these efforts as a way to promote women to fight for themselves and overtake men.

The change that has taken place in Chobokoane will be extended to change the lives of many through his effort, because more men will now consider women as equally strong to men. There will be no more conflicts of interest and things done in the name of culture; women can now make decisions. Our future generation will be free of gender discrimination, for there will be no one teaching them that of someone is a woman, they cannot do this and can do that. Men will no longer be dictators, and will not be feared in their families. Finally, Chobokoane is working to inspire other people through bringing together groups of youths to build awareness in the young generation.

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