We are a nation that is quick to forget, or do we have too many problems to waste our time on issues which clearly impact our lives somehow?
In the past weeks a lot happened in the country and there was a rant here and there about the selected few whose emotional explosions are uncontrollable, but immediately it was business as usual.
The only incident that left a mark and we have decided to bring forward to this week is the ‘smooching’ of the Members of Parliament whose red-handed act was luckily snapped by the Lesotho Television and continues to make rounds.
Why is that issue being brought forward to this week? Well because Lesotho joined the rest of the world to launch the 16 days of activism and the International Day Against Gender-Based Violence.
The country further launched the Gender and Development Policy 2018 – 2030 on Wednesday, a milestone in the journey of fighting gender-based violence in Lesotho.
The fight against GBV and the advocacy for gender equality are issues captured in the National Strategic Development Plan II (NSDP II).
According to NSDP II gender equality is a cross-cutting issue that has to be felt and seen as well as promoted and addressed through all development programs.
Chief Seeiso Bereng Seeiso when speaking at the launch pointed out that the Gender and Development Policy 2018 – 2030 calls for the engendering of the political agenda that manifests in overall governance – in the legislative, judicial and executive systems as well as in major sectoral policies and programs.
An engendered political agenda according the Chief means the articulation of new discourses and inclusion of new voices on gender issues.
“If you cannot run for and win political office, you will be excluded from political decision-making, as in the case of few women candidates who run for and loose political office at central level or those forgotten for Cabinet level, PS’s, Committee and Ambassador level.
“This Policy, deposit that this error must be corrected. Thus, we need to achieve parity at all levels of decision-making positions. It is critical to create a mass of women leaders at all levels; yet obviously, numbers do not automatically translate to changes in politics and governance.”
The Chief gives a hope-filled message for women and if we had strong women in the august house, the fondling we witnessed last week would have been the opportune act to push for all issues gender related, BUT no, members of the house took a rather worrying direction of scolding the LTV crew for literally doing their jobs.
The Chief pressed that Gender and Development Policy was a reminder that democracy is a political system that enables people to freely choose an effective, honest, transparent and accountable government.
“Democracy should aim at protecting and promoting the dignity and fundamental rights of women and men, girls and boys with and or without disabilities, instil social justice and foster economic and social development. Genuine democracy presupposes a genuine partnership between men and women in conducting the affairs of the nation. Accordingly, democracy is inseparable from human rights – whilst the Gender and Development Policy advocates for a human rights approach in programming and conducting daily business. How do we fare on this as a nation?
The launch carried messages of how GBV is an infringement and violation of human rights, yet what happened in parliament has gone unpunished or otherwise.
With the rosy policies like the Gender and Development Policy, the nation should be happy, but in all honesty, are we truly safe under the leadership of the elected members in parliament?