Senate Masupha

Activist Type
Women's Rights

Senate Masupha is a Lesothan activist combating the gender bias present in her country’s political system.

Masupha is the daughter of two chiefs from the village of Ha Mamathe. Her father, a descendant of the founder of Lesotho, held the chieftain position which was assumed by his widow after his passing. Despite such a robust lineage of leadership, Senate Masupha, who is an only child, is unable to inherit the chieftain role because she is a “girl-child.” Upon filing a case challenging the law in 2013, she was immediately met with resistance. This institutionalized sexism had never been questioned and is even supported by some Lesothan women who have been led to believe men are the only ones capable of running the country. 

Despite constant adversity and setbacks, Senate Masupha continues to challenge her country’s outdated system. The regressive nature of the ruling is magnified by the overturning of the same laws in neighboring countries like South Africa, Botswana, and Namibia. To promote her cause and gain support, she has traveled across the country educating her fellow Lesothans on the truth behind the gender bias. Masupha continues to fight for gender equality in Lesotho, in hopes that one day women will receive true equality in her country.

Artwork by
Connor Linde

Inspired by Masupha’s persistence, the hand made illustration references a central piece of her culture—the Basotho blanket. Mirroring the tedious weaving process, every stipple is a small reminder of how the world moves so fast, but change seems to happen so slowly.

Lesotho

Selman Peace Post Lesotho  Flag
Population
2.281 million
Capital
Maseru
GDP (PPP)
$3,133
Founded
October 4, 1966
Total Area
30,355 km2
Demonym
Mosotho (singular) Basotho (plural)
Government
Unitary parliamentary constitutional republic
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