“The Parliamentary Women’s Caucus should build strong relationships with civil society organisations to challenge direct and structural violence hurting women and children”. This was said by the DPE Coordinator, Sofonea Shale at the caucus retreat held at the Parliament on 7th of February 2023.
The DPE was invited to speak on the topics; ‘After Elections’ and ‘Constructive handling of Conflicts’.
The DPE Coordinator said that the women’s caucus stands strategically to offer hope if it builds oneness. “Since women are a common denominator, they can influence change beyond party boundaries”, he said noting that women caucus deal with a bail concern and no political party cannot support.
He challenged the caucus to realise that Lesotho needs reforms more than it was ever the case before. He urged women to stand unite to give parliament dignity it deserves because everyone is looking at parliament for reforms. He warned that Lesotho has no other option but deliver on reforms. He noted that if Lesotho issues this chance, it will surely degenerate in to the situation it was before and unfortunately those who helped with dedication may not have the similar energy and eagerness to help. Shale noted that SADC and development partners, may not commit further similar resources, time, energy and concentration to Lesotho, so the Kingdom has to have its act put together on reforms.
In response to the presentations, Senator ‘Mawinie Kanetsi acknowledged that there are challenges laying ahead and women parliamentarians should lead the way. She noted that women like other members, will face situations where their conscience, their party line and their wish of the people they represent clash, yet decisions have to be taken with their active participation. ‘Machabana Lemphane Letsie MP, leader of HOPE , Member of National Assembly and the chair of the session, noted that while numbers are a challenge in the parliamentary work, predominantly done on the basis of numbers , she felt empowered that as a member of the House and part of women caucus, should work hard and wiser to influence the numbers to see what is better for the country and not parties. Hon Pinkie Manamolela MP, apricated the constructive approach to conflict as an important way of utilising her place as an opposition to engage robustly yet on point.
DPE accepted the challenge to offer a full fledge training on conflict handling to the parliamentarians and facilitate orientation on the national reforms before the bill is formally presented for deliberation.