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UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund Representative to Lesotho Ms Nuzhat Ehsan has emphasized the need for gender to be mainstreamed into the National Strategic Development Plan II   

During a courtesy visit to the Minister of Gender and Youth, Sport and Recreation Mr Kabelo Mafura on Wednesday (09/08/2017), the Representative said it is pertinent that every chapter of the plan is gender sensitive. “As UNFPA we will therefore support engagement of an expert to ensure inclusion of gender equality considerations into the NSDP II,” she added.

She also underscored the importance for review and enactment of policies and laws that protect women and girls against Gender Based Violence (GBV) such as  the Domestic Violence Bill and the Gender and Development policy.  Furthermore, she indicated the significance for establishment of a referral system for gender based violence which would include, among others, police, civil society and health professionals.

The Representative also highlighted the minister on a joint United Nations (UN) programme on El Nino linked to GBV which followed the 2015/2016 drought. Major achievements of the project include capacity building of staff of the Ministry of Gender and Youth, Sport and Recreation, the first ever baseline study on the impact of the El nino linked to GBV in Lesotho and distribution of more than 4000 dignity kits in the four districts of Maseru, Mafeteng, Mohale’hoek and Butha-Buthe.

Meanwhile, the Minister stressed the need for empowerment of women in all facets such as their reproductive health and rights. He noted with concern that poverty was a major factor that significantly also contribute to gender based violence.