MASERU- Participation Initiative for Social Accountability (PISA), which is an arm of the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), celebrated International Women’s Day (IWD) with women from all sectors of business on Friday.
The IWD campaign theme for this year is ‘Be Bold for Change’ which calls on men and women across the world to stand up for women’s rights and to bring about the end of gender inequality. PISA says it takes this days’ initiatives to encourage the participation of women in all sectors of the economy be it the service or commercial industries.
In an interview with Manapo Makhele PISA Centre Coordinator Maseru said the organisation is a middleman linking the public with their service providers.
“It is a programme aimed at creating dialogue between government and citizens to enhance democracy in the country.
It aims to contribute to increase citizen’s capacity and motivation to participate in democratic and developmental processes, as well as active participation of citizens and community structures in dialogue forums and also calls for improved opportunity for citizens to participate in the public policy processes,” she said.
“Like any other organization we also align ourselves with world declarations on international commemorations like the International Women’s Day. We realized the potential that women have, and that they are also involved in many things that benefit the whole family and communities.
“Most associations are started by women in the communities and they even know better on the needs of the society in the community in which they live. Large structures of groups are formulated by women whether in the health sector or business sector,” she said.
“We therefore, thought that it is important to increase the number of women that occupy the leadership positions in the economic sphere or political sphere, hence we invited women who already occupy those spheres,” she said.
She said women at the celebration indicated the challenges they faced in their everyday life whether from families or at work saying. The women, she said, had indicated that they did not get enough support from other women as well as their male counterparts in business. The pointed out the “pull her down syndrome (or PHD) and jealousy at workplaces as some of the inhibiting factors.
“Women also face challenges at institutions like churches where they are judged if they attend political rallies yet politics are vital as they affect everyone’s lives. However the women were encouraged to work together and support one another so that their desires can be heard collectively,” Makhele said.
“We also had a session on women empowerment where women were encouraged to have trust in themselves as not having trust in themselves hinders them from developing. We also urged them to become business minded and run their own businesses,” she added.
Makhele also noted that women were also encouraged to make a bold move, work hard to change their lifestyles and engage themselves in farming. They were also made aware of their rights from a legal point of view and that men should also support women to give them the strength they needed to tackle issues effectively.