Alliance Française spotlights women in May

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Alliance Francaise's Communications secretary Papali Monyake
Alliance Francaise’s Communications secretary Papali Monyake

Mohalenyane Phakela

ALLIANCE Française de Maseru (AF), in conjunction with the European Union, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Vodacom Lesotho, Standard Lesotho Bank and the US Embassy, will hold a series of artistic and cultural events in Maseru celebrating the role of women in society.

Dubbed “Women in Resistance”(Femmes en Résistance), the events, which will run from 5 to 30 May 2015, are meant to shine the spotlight on women and their struggles, which remain largely unknown due to limited media coverage.

According to AF Communications Secretary, Papali Monyake, the month of May will be dedicated to highlighting the plight of women through “Women in Resistance” which has been held in other countries.

“Such events have been held in such countries such as Uganda and Tanzania, and we decided to adapt the concept to help empower women in Lesotho,” said Monyake.

“The aim is to raise awareness of the power of women, more especially when it comes to gender equality.

“Women in Lesotho are perceived to be very strong, regardless of their poor living conditions, they are never shaken or show any sign of despair.”

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

Monyake said one of the main attractions would be the exhibition of photographs taken by Frenchman Pierre-Yves Ginet during the last 15 years, showing women’s struggles all over the world for equality, justice, democracy, dignity and survival.

“The exhibition will present women’s portraits by French photojournalist, Pierre-Yves Ginet and portraits of Basotho women ​​by Meri Hyoky, a Lesotho-based photographer,” she said.

“The exhibition is dedicated to women around the world who exist, resist, argue, survive and rebuild.

“It will provide an impartial but not pessimistic assessment of the place of women in Lesotho. The objective is to raise awareness on current issues that women still face, despite an illusion of progress.

“The aim is also to inspire young people through examples of women who stood for a cause, on different scales, institutional or informal.”

“The exhibitions will feature active Basotho women like Chief Justice Nthomeng Majara, chieftains Senate Masupha of Berea who has been fighting to claim her right to the throne and ‘Mareitumetse Mokhoro who is an activist fighting for the rights of factory workers.”

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