Film screen­ing to tackle gen­der in­equal­ity

Lesotho Times - - Entertainment - Mo­halenyane Phakela

AS part of the “Women in Re­sis­tance” artis­tic and cul­tural events tak­ing place in Maseru, the Hill­side Dig­i­tal Trust will screen the film doc­u­men­tary, A Woman’s Place, at Al­liance Fran­caise on Fri­day.

“Women in Re­sis­tance” is run­ning from 5 to 30 May 2015 and is meant to shine the spot­light on women and their strug­gle for equal­ity, which re­main largely un­known due to limited me­dia cov­er­age. The ex­hi­bi­tions are an ini­tia­tive of Al­liance Française de Maseru, in con­junc­tion with the Euro­pean Union, United Na­tions Devel­op­ment Pro­gramme (UNDP), Vo­da­com Le­sotho, Stan­dard Le­sotho Bank, the US Em­bassy and Hill­side Dig­i­tal Trust.

Ac­cord­ing to Hill­side Dig­i­tal Trust Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Co­or­di­na­tor, Mole­bo­heng Ram­pou, they are part­ner­ing with the UNDP in screen­ing the film at Al­liance Française Con­fer­ence Hall at 3pm.

Di­rected col­lab­o­ra­tively by an in­ter­na­tional team of film­mak­ers, the film ex­plores the con­flicts be­tween tra­di­tion and change through the sto­ries of women us­ing the legal sys­tem to se­cure newly-won rights. Pro­duced in 2000, the film pro­files three women - a judge in ru- ral South Africa, a pros­e­cu­tor in a small town in the United States and a lawyer in In­dia –– who try to change cen­turies old cus­toms by em­ploy­ing in­no­va­tive legal strate­gies.

South African judge Tan­daswa Ndita uses the coun­try’s Con­sti­tu­tion, with its guar­an­tee of equal rights for all, to com­bat tra­di­tional laws that de­nied women the right to in­herit prop­erty.

“May is the month of ‘ Women In Re­sis­tance’ in Le­sotho, which is be­ing cel­e­brated with a se­ries of events to raise aware­ness about the rights of women and the prin­ci­ples of equal­ity be­tween the sexes through­out the world,” said Ram­pou.

“The aim is to high­light cases where cus­tom­ary law places women at odds with gen­der equal­ity to Ba­sotho’s at­ten­tion. We will also have no­table women at­tend­ing the event.”

The screen­ing will be fol­lowed by a ques­tion and an­swer ses­sion with a panel con­sist­ing of the film’s Direc­tor Pat Van Heer­den, the­olo­gian Dr Paul Leshota, Princess Se­nate Ma­supha and Ad­vo­cate Bore­na­habokhethe Sekonyela. Among the top­ics to be dis­cussed are the rights of women in Le­sotho as equal cit­i­zens.

Added Ram­pou: “As the film raises a few ques­tions re­gard­ing the ef­fects of cus­tom­ary law on women’s rights, the panel will dis­cuss the rights of women within the con­text of cul­tural tra­di­tions and cus­tom­ary law from a global per­spec­tive and within Le­sotho.

“It will ex­plore prac­ti­cal so­lu­tions on how to em­power women by in­ter­ro­gat­ing the con­tra­dic­tory dual legal sys­tem and pos­si­ble so­lu­tions on how best to go for­ward.”

Hill­side Dig­i­tal Trust Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Co­or­di­na­tor Mole­bo­heng Ram­pou

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