Institutional profile-Ramapepe Council COE

Institutional profile-Ramapepe Council COE

Date: July 22, 2013
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“Gender mainstreaming in the local government brought so much joy in our council”

In 2010 Ramapepe became a centre of Excellence for Gender in Local Government. It has been 2 years since the relationship with GL started, Ramapepe shows significant progress in the latest score of 42% from 57% when the score card was first administered.

When the council started with the COE process the councillors were blind to gender mainstreaming. To date the council has worked very hard to mainstream gender in their policies and overall council and community activities. Both women and men participate equally in the council and during council meetings all decisions taken are on the basis of issues that affect both men and women.

The council has a total of 21 councillors. Women represent 48% of the councillors compared to men at 52% representation in the council participate at an equal level during council meetings. Only one committee is chaired by a woman in Ramapepe and two of the committees are chaired by men. The Chairperson of the council is a man and the vice chair is a woman. One of the committees that was chaired by a woman has since been dissolved.

There has been notable change in the council and the community in which they each work in. The women are more aware and practice their rights more often than ever before. The community of Ramapepe has learned to stand together against all forms of GBV.

Under the Basotho law women could not apply for land and title deeds without the permission of their husbands now the council encourages women to apply for land and housing nor sign documentation without the presence of their husbands. Since the use of the SADC Gender Protocol the ministry and the councils have seen that this hindrance in women’s lives causes feud. Many widows find themselves destitute when their spouses pass, as families take over the property and all its belongings leading the women to poverty and one of the ways to alleviate poverty is through informal trade.

Ramapepe community council has a Local Economic Development policy in place however the council has not fully implemented the plan. The project that is done by the council so far only benefits four women in the community with a plan to roll out the project to other women in the community. This project of the nursery came about from Councillor Nketekete identifying the need to stop purchasing fruit trees form South Africa and to start growing their own trees so that they can sell to the farmers in Lesotho.

Since the introduction of the notion of climate change, Ramapepe still does not have a policy on climate change which outlines the challenges and the plans that the council have in place to combat climate change. However the council does partake in some activities that contribute to nurturing the environment and these include rangeland management. Dialogues to discuss water are often held by the council. The council does not participate in preventative campgains at the moment.

The council faces challenges, for example, there are no street lights in the area, and the roads that lead between houses are not marked and is gravel posing challenges when there are emergencies, the biggest challenge is the budget cuts that the council faces as the cuts negatively affect the fight against Gender Based Violence. For as long as there are budget cuts the levels of GBV will remain unchanged.

The council does not have running water in the council yard however they have small water pumps in the village that are being kept safe and which women are looking after. The water committees have women as their chairs.

The council has given land to those care groups that work with people living with HIV and AIDS. There are lists of all the care workers in the area and the support groups. The council takes part in awareness campgains and provides condoms to the community in an efforet to promote healthy sexual practices.

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