Arts expo fo­cuses on gen­der eq­uity

Lesotho Times - - Lifestyle - Mo­halenyane Phakela

OR­GAN­IS­ERS of the up­com­ing “Women in Re­sis­tance” ( Femmes en Ré­sis­tance), which cel­e­brates the role of women in so­ci­ety, say the se­ries of artis­tic and cul­tural events are meant to bring more aware­ness on is­sues of gen­der equal­ity.

The events, which will run from 5 to 30 May 2015, are an ini­tia­tive of Al­liance Française de Maseru (AF), in con­junc­tion with the Euro­pean Union, United Na­tions Devel­op­ment Pro­gramme ( UNDP), Vo­da­com Le­sotho, Stan­dard Le­sotho Bank, the US Em­bassy and Hill­side Dig­i­tal Trust.

Speak­ing at a press brief­ing on Mon­day at Al­liance Française de Maseru (AF), the or­gan­is­ers said the events are meant to shine the spot­light on women and their strug­gles, which re­main largely un­known due to limited me­dia cov­er­age.

Among those present at the press brief­ing was AF Direc­tor Camille Ped­ereau, US Em­bassy Public Af­fairs Of­fi­cer Julie Mckay, Gov­er­nance Pro­gramme Manager in the Del­e­ga­tion of EU Mariam Ho­may­oun, UNDP HIV/AIDS Gen­der Of­fi­cer Melina Sif­naiou, Hill­side Dig­i­tal Trust Founder and CEO Danny Lurie and its Re­search Ad­vo­cacy and Pol­icy con­sul­tant Mpho Le­tima.

They de­scribed “Women in Re­sis­tance” as a “per­fect op­por­tu­nity” to show­case the suc­cess sto­ries of those who have made it in life to in­spire young women.

“Le­sotho is also part of the global dis­cus­sion on gen­der equal­ity, yet cus­tom­ary law still favours boys over girls when it comes to in­her­i­tance,” Le­tima said, giv­ing ref­er­ence to the case of Se­nate Ma­supha who has been fight­ing a pro­tracted battle for the ’Ma­mathe chief­tain­ship.

“Our aim is to try and close the gap be­tween men and women by en­gag­ing the au­di­ence in a dis­cus­sion on the im­ple­men­ta­tion of cus­tom­ary law.

“We would like to en­gage men in a healthy fash­ion as they are needed to make the equal­ity work.”

Ho­may­oun also chipped in, say­ing the ex­hi­bi­tions are meant to show that Ba­sotho women are not de­fined by their cir­cum­stances but are proac­tive in their fight to im­prove their sit­u­a­tion.

“We would like to see women as the driv­ers of devel­op­ment and also in­spire young women to be en­trepreneurs,” Ho­may­oun said.

The aim, the or­gan­is­ers added, is also to in­spire young peo­ple through ex­am­ples of women who stood for a cause on dif­fer­ent lev­els, be it in­sti­tu­tional or in­for­mal.

The ex­hi­bi­tions will fea­ture in­spi­ra­tional Ba­sotho women such as Ma­supha, Chief Jus­tice Nthomeng Ma­jara, and ‘Mare­i­tumetse Mokhoro who is an ac­tivist fight­ing for the rights of fac­tory work­ers.

Ac­cord­ing to the pro­gramme, Queen ‘Mase­n­ate Mo­hato Seeiso will of­fi­cially open the lineup of events, fol­lowed by a per­for­mance from Serumula Choir.

Other ac­tiv­i­ties lined up dur­ing the pe­riod will also in­clude a Euro­pean Union round ta­ble on 6 May at Le­sotho Sun Ho­tel, a school drawing com­pe­ti­tion on 11 May, cinema night on 14 May and a cooking work­shop three days later.

The screen­ing of the film A Woman’s Place cour­tesy of the UNDP and Hill­side Dig­i­tal will also fea­ture a de­bate led by the lat­ter’s direc­tor, Pat Van Heer­den, on 22 May. The closing cer­e­mony will be held at Morija Mu­seum.

One of the main at­trac­tions will be the ex­hi­bi­tion of pho­to­graphs taken by French­man Pierre-yves Ginet over the course of the last 15 years, show­ing women’s strug­gles all over the world for equal­ity, jus­tice, democ­racy, dig­nity and sur­vival.

From left: US Em­bassy Public Af­fairs Of­fi­cer Julie Mckay, AF Direc­tor Camille Ped­ereau and Del­e­ga­tion of the EU Gov­er­nance Pro­gramme Manager Mariam Ho­may­oun ad­dress the press brief­ing on Mon­day.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Lesotho

© PressReader. All rights reserved.