Former South African Cabinet Minister and Current Chairperson of the Common Wealth Women Parliamentarians in Africa Region, Thoko Didiza, visited Lesotho to share experiences and strengthen the women parliamentarian caucus.
This initiative hopes to help them appreciate their role in advancing women’s interests through legislation. Bouncing beyond the borders, it is an opportunity to hand-hold each other by sharing experience that can advance women’s interests.
“When we came in, you will remember that the national party had only one woman, Minister Renei Venter, and one Deputy Minister just towards the end of their term, Sheila Camera. So, in the whole of that Parliament there was only one ablutions facility, a basic necessity. So, when we now came in numbers in 1994, the reality was, where are we going to relieve ourselves and powder our noses, are we going to queue for this one toilet. So we had to say that the Parliament must look at its infrastructure and change,” says Didiza.
She says if women work together even across party lines, they can achieve much more. Chairperson of the Women Parliament Caucus Matšepo Ramakoae says women play an important role in society.
“We are many in numbers, we are the ones who go for elections, we are the ones who are bringing up families and if we don’t do that, we are not going anywhere. So if common wealth has realised that, I think we are going somewhere else. We are going to go to a point where this region or African continent will change from where it is, if we women stood up to the point where we want to go.”
Lesotho is readying to chair the Common Wealth Women’s Caucus in the Africa region in the next term, and they can do with all the help available.