Women for Change (WfC) celebrated International Women’s Day (8 March 2016) in style by not only participating in the national event in Lusaka but also support women and men in rural areas to raise their voice. Two satellite activities in rural districts of Mumbwa and Kapiri Mposhi were held to raise awareness on gender and rural development.
The theme for 2016 was Planet 50:50 by 2030 Step it up for Gender Equality, calling for 50% representation of females in leadership roles, reducing gender based violence, and increasing access to education for females. At national level, WfC participated in the National Carnival that was held in the Lusaka Showgrounds and was attended by several women’s organizations and government and private institutions.
In Kapiri Mposhi (Central province), the event was held at Chibwe basic school in Mukonchi Chiefdom and attracted participation of members from Chitukutuku, Makafu, Ntasa, Mondwa and Chibwe Area Associations formed by WfC.
The event was attended by headpersons, youths and Government officials. During the commemoration, youths from area associations (AA) performed role plays on gender, while speeches were made by Chairpersons of AAs, Headpersons, a representative from government, and Women for Change Field Animator Harriet Sichone.
Speaking during the commemoration was Chairperson for Ntasa, AA Mrs. Witty Ngoma, who promoted the importance of women to work hard to attain gender equality at all levels.
Meanwhile Mr. Isaac Chikwane, representing the Headperson from Ntasa Village, said that the headpersons were willing to work with the women in the area in order to ensure that there was equality, particularly through the elimination of GBV in its various forms such as early marriages, physical, economic and psychological abuse in the area.
In Mumbwa, WfC Animator Alfred Simaye led the commemoration which took on a similar format. The guest of honour for the event was a female heaperson Kapapa.
And speaking during the commemoration, Headperson Kapapa said the 50:50 Gender Equality was already taking shape in her area; most women were taking up responsibilities that were previously only socially accepted for men. Headperson Kapapa gave examples of women taking up leadership positions in parent-teacher associations, cooperatives, and being bread winners in some homes.
She, however, encouraged women to aim for higher positions in politics, becoming councilors and members of parliament, as was the case in other districts.
Headperson Kapapa condemned some men who had the habit of hiding money in the pockets and going to the toilet to sort out how much to give to their wives. She condemned such men as backward and retrogressive.