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Doccie spotlights domestic violence

 

SM&D Director Mamolefe Petlane
SM&D Director Mamolefe Petlane

Mohalenyane Phakela

SESOTHO Media & Development (SM&D) has partnered with She-Hive Association to launch a new documentary on women’s rights titled Mollong – The Meeting at Alliance Francaise Hall in Maseru.

The launch ceremony, which was held on Friday, was attended by representatives of human rights organisations and other invited guests with a discussion also being held after the screening. The event was part of the ongoing series of events to celebrate 50 years of women in Lesotho which started last Thursday and will run till Saturday.

The 21-minute documentary explores the abuses women are subjected to in their families and emphasises the importance of exposing such human rights violations rather than concealing them. The title Mollong is a Sesotho saying referring to a place where people gather to discuss issues. The documentary centres on the lives of She-Hive members, who gather to share experiences of abuse, comfort each other and equip each other with skills of achieving normal lives. She-Hive is a non-governmental organisation working against all forms of domestic violence.

The audience commended She-Hive members for their courage to publicly share their experiences of abuse as it is often perceived to be a taboo in most communities where “women are subject to being taught a lesson by their husbands”.

Speaking at the launch, one of the women featured in the documentary, Mamakhethe Phomane said the aim was to stop the abuse of women.

“We are survivors of domestic violence and it has to stop with us. We are telling our stories because we want to encourage other women to come forward and report abuse because if you keep it to yourself, it could end up killing you.

“I used to be ashamed to tell my story but then I realised I was being selfish and that my man would end up killing me. I also realised how it affected the kids so I had to take a bold step and now I am a happy woman who still believes that there is a man out there who will give me what that man failed to give.

“The first person to approach is one you are comfortable to share your story with, one you believe will assist you to get help and also involve the community leader (chief),” she said.

She also said that She Hive discourages divorce and encourages people to engage in dialogue in order to find solutions to their problems.

Also present was her daughter, Refiloe Ramakhula who disclosed that she and her younger brother were greatly affected by the abuse and she had to share her bedroom with her mother to protect her from their abusive father.

She also said that when she attended university, she felt compelled to give part of her bursary allowance to her mother to enable her to survive.

Speaking at the same event, the director of Sesotho Media & Development, Mamolefe Petlane promised that her association would ensure that the film is exposed to many people in order to effect behavioural change.

“We believe that the country needs to learn about these special women who had the audacity to go public about their abuse. So we intend to hold a lot of screenings in different communities which will also feature discussion as the aim is to create awareness about the importance of reporting abuse for it to stop,” she said.

 

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