By Lebohang Lenetha
BAM Group of Companies (BGC) will in partnership with Women and Law in Southern Africa (WILSA), She-Hive, Habitat for Humanity and other stakeholder organizations facilitate a country-wide tour to discuss issues pertaining to gender based violence and how citizens can approach and solve them.
This initiative started in Berea district on Thursday last week, where villagers around Ha ‘Mamathe, Moreneng gathered for an insightful workshop in commemoration of 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence (GBV).
The mandate was to educate the society about their rights on inheritance, types of marriages and who to approach when encountering riddles in their relationships as stripping one’s inheritance is also marked as a form of GBV.
In an interview with Informative Newspaper, Advocate Mpho Theko from WILSA stated that they will be touring districts of the country, raising awareness against GBV because it is their core mandate as an organization. “WILSA works in every district all year round in efforts to raise awareness against GBV, raising awareness just does not happen during 16 days of activism. So in future, we shall see parents who understand how to bequeath their properties in such a way that no child is disinherited, no more cases of widows who have been kicked out by the in-laws thus reducing the rate of GBV because disinheritance has become one of the factors that increase the rate of GBV in Lesotho.
During the launch of the tour in Berea, Advocate Mpho Theko, further enlightened the people of Ha ‘Mamathe about different types of marriages, noting that a lot of women get into marriages without fully understanding the fundamentals of the type of marriage they get into, saying that often leads to them being cheated out of their rights on inheritance. She advised unmarried women to first analyze the type of marriage they wish to get into as these types of marriages have different contradictions. “You ought to have a marriage certificate that clearly indicates your names, check that the certificate is written correctly and keep a copy to use in the future to fight for your inheritance should your husband pass away,” she advised.
She further stated that it would be wise for them to sign a prenuptial agreement to protect their properties, and advised the parents to write wills in the future to protect their girl children as the law of Lerotholi does not recognize a girl child as a fit person to be an heir. This she specified as an advice to those who wish to engage in traditional weddings.
BGC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mamashiya Ntšepeng Tšita Tikiso highlighted that for generations, Basotho culture and beliefs have been depriving women and girls of their rights to inheritance.
“We realized that women and children cry every day when it comes to the family giving them their rights of inheritance, women being kicked out of their houses by their spouses’ families when their husbands have passed away, girl children robbed of their rights on their late parent’s properties by their families. This is what influenced this movement to teach about how they can own their rights by giving them a platform to fight, and as a way of ending GBV because denying one’s rights is another form of abuse,” she indicated.