Swazi women plan to document ‘herstory’

Swazi women plan to document ‘herstory’

Date: April 25, 2012
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Gaining confidence from their participation in capacity building programmes rolled out in their country by Gender Links (GL), the Swazi women of the Lutsango LwakaNgwane cooperative will document the stories of women who paved the way for their empowerment.

Velabahleke Masuku, the chairperson of the Lutsango Multipurpose Co-operative, says Swazi women want to write the book to honour the women who played a crucial role in the development of the women belonging to the group.

The cooperative of women has grown from singing and dancing at traditional events to rearing livestock, poultry projects, farming and handicrafts. “Women also have an option to save money in our education fund which they get at the end of the year so that they can pay school fees for their children the following year,” she said.

In an interview at the third annual Gender Justice and Local Government Summit, Masuku said that many women in Swaziland are invisible in the country’s history books.

“There are a lot of women who have been at the forefront in terms of developing women and have made the cooperative what it is today. These date from way back during the time of Labotsibeni to the current Queen Mother,” Masuku said. “There are other women like former Senators Bella Katamzi, Stella Lukhele, Nokukhanya Gamadze and the current leader of the regiment Aline Dlamini, she added.

Masuku also hailed Gender Links for their contributions to empowering women through capacity building workshops. She noted that a number of women have been afforded a chance to meet their counterparts from other countries to share ideas and network at this year’s summit.

Winile Mavuso is a journalist with Swazi Observer in Swaziland. This article is part of GL Opinion and Commentary Service, special news and analysis series of the 2012 Gender Justice and Local Government Summit

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