Africa

Woman fights for chieftaincy in Lesotho

Under tradition, only men can inherit the chieftaincy title in Lesotho, the land-locked mountain kingdom of southern Africa, Now, one woman, Senate Masupha, is seeking to change this. Masupha is the only child of David Masupha, former chief of several villages and direct descendant of Moshoeshoe I, founder of the kingdom. When her father died in 1996, her mother took up the position, as tradition allowed widows of chiefs to become custodians of the title until a male heir is ready. But when her mother died in 2008, the title went to her uncle. Masupha challenged the kingdom's Chieftainship Act, but the courts ruled the law could only be changed by parliament—which has refused to act. Mamathe continues to assert her claim, and campaign for the rights of women in Lesotho. (Photo: Face2FaceAfrica)