RANAIVOSONINA Verosoa Patricia – Madagascar

RANAIVOSONINA Verosoa Patricia – Madagascar

Date: December 2, 2015
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Women have a great role to play in the community

Verosoa Patricia is member of the committee for the fight against violence in the urban council of Manjakandriana, part of the Centre of Excellence (COE) process since 2010. The urban council of Manjakandriana is located 50 kilometres from the capital and has an engaged woman as a mayor. Thanks to the mayor’s leadership, the council is implementing several projects for the improvement of women’s status, especially in the domain of health, women’s access to land and finance, and other gender related activities.

Before Gender Links (GL)’s intervention, Verosoa Patricia has dedicated all her time to child care and household duties: “My husband decided how much money he wanted to give us. I had to manage with what he gave me, and if I complained, it ended up with disputes and violence”. Verosoa Patricia wanted to do something to increase their income but could not do anything at that time as she still had little children. When there was nothing at home, she used to borrow money from her family.

In 2012, she participated in a workshop organised by GL. She represented her village. After the training, she became a member of the gender committee for the fight against gender based violence (GBV). As such, she participated in different awareness raising campaigns organised by the council. It was during these activities that she realised the importance of women in the society. “Even if women are the ones who care for the family’s well-being, they have also a great role to play in the village, in the community and in the country”, she says. According to her, GL’s workshop helped the council to improve its approach towards promoting gender equality and ending GBV.

In 2014, Patricia joined the entrepreneurship programme and has attended all the phases of the project. After completing the training she began a business based on poultry farming. Thanks to GL and the council’s technical support, she could open a bank account, save money and improve her income. “The training was very important for me personally and financially”. In her personal plan, she became more confident as she owns her own business, takes decisions for herself and is independent. Patricia has eight children and thanks to her willingness to improve her life, she is now able to pay for the education of all her children. The change in her life was appreciated by her family as well as her neighbours. Presently, she is leading a small association composed of women survivors of violence. This association aims at sharing knowledge on how to manage small businesses. They meet weekly and Patricia shares with them her experience and knowledge.

“Many women in my village are still experiencing violence in their homes”, says Patricia. The most common type of violence is economic. The fact of having too many children constitutes the main challenge for women. In the future, Verosoa Patricia wants to be a trainer in entrepreneurship and lead a formal women’s association.


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