Maseru – The Deputy Minister of Gender, Youth and Sports Honourable ‘Marefuoe ‘Muso has encouraged women to contribute to community development.
Speaking during a Women’s Forum held at Rothe in Maseru Honourable ‘Muso said there are cultures and practices holding women back, but women should be decision makers as they make up the majority of the nation.
She warned women against discrimination within families and communities, and emphasised that equality does not mean they are the same as men and appealed to them to respect their spouses and negotiate peacefully with them especially in family issues.
The Member of Parliament for Rothe Honourable ‘Manthabiseng Phohleli said abduction of girls and forcing them into early marriages should be abolished and urged women to take a leading role in development and use available opportunities.
The Chief Gender Officer Mrs. ‘Mapuleng Secheche said women have the ability to influence peace and development, saying their contribution in peace keeping ensures a better future for the nation.
Police Constable Sechaba Matsapa from the Child and Gender Protection Unit of Lesotho Mounted Police Service stressed that a healthy woman who knows her rights is easy to recognise, and encouraged women to learn what their partners desire in order to maintain joy in their families and prevent abuse.
On behalf of residents of Rothe, Mrs. ‘Makonosoang Maifo said emotional abuse is painful and has negative effects on the well-being of victims, communities and families, calling on community leaders to give victims of abuse attention and take their reports seriously.
The Forum was held as part of activities to mark African Women’s Month which is commemorated annually in August to empower women and recognise their role in development.