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AD12: Basotho less supportive of women’s political leadership, opposed to traditional chieftain role

Libuseng Malephane and Mamello Nkuebe 28 Jan 2015 Lesotho
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Key findings
  • Two-thirds (67%) of women say women should have the same chance of being elected to political office as men (Figure 1). But support for this position has declined among both women and men and is lower in Lesotho than in five other Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries surveyed in 2014
  • Fewer than half of women (46%) say the law barring daughters from succeeding to the chieftaincy should be changed
  • Six women out of 10 (62%) say they attended a community meeting at least several times in the previous year, compared to 73% of men; women were roughly half as likely as men to have joined with others to raise an issue (22% vs. 38%) (Figure 5). But they were just as likely to be leaders or active members of voluntary associations or community groups.

Basotho women still find it hard to attain leadership positions due to discriminatory cultural practices and laws, Afrobarometer’s most recent survey shows. Survey results also suggest that women are less active than men in community and political organising.

Support for women’s political leadership declined from 2012 to 2014, and even though two-thirds of women say that women should have the same chance as men of being elected to political office, a majority of women and men still support the law that allows only sons to succeed to chieftaincy in Lesotho.

Libuseng Malephane

Libuseng Malephane is the national investigator for Lesotho.

Mamello Nkuebe

Mamello Nkuebe is the Field Manager at Advision