Film screening to tackle gender equality
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 rural 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.”