by Abraham Kalito on 16 Jul 2018by Sipilisiwe Ncube on 13 Jul 2018by Abraham Kalito on 13 Jul 2018by Mukosha Funga on 13 Jul 2018
- Goal Diggers
by Abraham Kalito on 16 Jul 2018by Sipilisiwe Ncube on 12 Jul 2018by Abraham Kalito on 11 Jul 2018by Mirriam Chabala on 11 Jul 2018
- Editor's Choice
by Percy Chanda, UPND on 15 Jun 2018by Elias Munshya on 11 Jun 2018by Akashambatwa Mbikusita-Lewanika on 31 May 2018by Chibamba Kanyama on 25 May 2018
by Diggers Editor on 14 Jul 2018by Diggers Editor on 12 Jul 2018by Diggers Editor on 11 Jul 2018by Diggers Editor on 10 Jul 2018
by Mirriam Chabala on 13 Jul 2018by Chense Chola on 7 Jul 2018by Mirriam Chabala on 22 Jun 2018by Felix Kashweka on 30 May 2018
- Guest Diggers
by Sampa Kabwela on 14 Jul 2018by Chibamba Kanyama on 9 Jul 2018by Netsanet Belay - Amnesty International on 25 Jun 2018by Kalaki on 24 Jun 2018
Time is now; Press for women’s progressBy William Chilufya on 8 Mar 2018
2018 is here, another year to celebrate the contribution of women in every corner of Zambia and the entire world. It is a time to reflect on hustles and hurdles that women encounter to make a typical Zambian family survive. It’s also time to realize and celebrate the power of women in rural and urban areas to transform lives and make this world a better place.
In one way or the other, we have all encountered the struggle of women to make ends meet for a family. I recently met a small scale farmer of Kafue district. Her situation is not uncommon to most women in Zambia today.
With little help and more frustration from her husband, who spends his money and takes some of hers without her permission, to spend on alcohol, she is left to care for their four children and two dependents single-handedly. With little opportunities and power in a household, she has her mind focused on caring, feeding, educating and providing health care to her children including, in most cases, the husband too.
This is not an isolated case in Zambia. A lot more of people have seen this and more people have been raised through such situations. We have all seen the potential of these women to provide for more if the environment was supportive enough.
Indeed as per this year’s theme, time is now for all activists to take stock of gender issues in Zambia and begin to transform women’s lives.
As seventy eight (78 per cent) of women are engaged in agriculture, women constitute an important labour force for agriculture. However, most of these women are involved in crop production for home consumption and their farming activities do not produce any tangible income. Usually, women’s role is often to assist men in family farming or production for home consumption due to firstly, their little access to production equipment and land compared to men, secondly, their prominent role in household work and child rearing and thirdly, their activities are often limited to subsistence farming or other simple work due to the fixed role expected of women and time constraints.
Despite that number of women involved in agriculture, they are not part of the leadership in the sector. The Ministry of Agriculture in Zambia, quoting the Zambia National Farmers Union stated that there has been very little participation from the women in the agricultural oriented leadership roles in the country. Yet, women in Zambia have what it takes to lead the men not only in agriculture including other key sectors. What is comforting today is that women are moving into domains that were once explicitly male, for example ploughing, beekeeping, and gardening among others. Despite these gains for women farmers, there remain several outstanding issues. In the majority of cases women’s increased access to resources still relies on their ability to maintain their relationship to the male head of household and to wider kinship networks.
Outside the agricultural sector, many women are employed in the informal sector – selling food related items – where they are faced with a number of challenges. A case in point is the most recent Cholera pandemic that saw street vendors in Lusaka being moved out of the street. While this is a most welcome move and is commendable, it is important that the authorities pay attention to the disadvantaged position that this risk has had on women and how resilient they will be to overcome this situation and still be able to support the food and nutrition needs of their families. As places of trading are being allocated to those that were affected by this noble action, women should be highly considered for allocation of trading places and be given other forms of support to ensure that access to food by these women and their families is not reduced.
As we celebrate this women’s day, we take note of some success points that Zambia has scored. Having a female Vice-President is something worth our celebration. Having a gender policy in place is not something to be ignored. The 50 per cent land policy allocation to women is something we need to recognise.
As we press for progress, it is time to leave the rhetoric and move into actions – our policies have some gender forward thinking which when implemented a conducive environment can be created for women development. Now is the time for activists to push for implementation of programs that will transform women’s lives.
Hivos’ sustainable diets for all program is working towards transforming the food system so that it becomes more diverse and addresses the nutrition challenges that affect the country. In Hivos, we are calling for activists and advocates to consider Building and strengthening women’s capacities while including men in a culturally acceptable way and capitalizing on the talents and contributions of women and men. This capacity-building should be accessible in terms of content, location and timing. In food systems there are a number of relevant areas for building capacities such as production and processing technologies, finance, entrepreneurship, rights and laws. Skill-building also includes leadership and advocacy skills to develop women’s ability to voice their concerns and ideas. We believe taking this route would contribute to transforming women’s live.
The author is a Regional Advocacy Manager – Sustainable Diets at Hivos Southern AfricaRelated Items
Subscribe for email alerts
Weekly Most Digged
ArchivesAug0 PostsSep0 PostsOct0 PostsNov0 PostsDec0 Posts
- July 2018
- June 2018
- May 2018
- April 2018
- March 2018
- February 2018
- January 2018
- December 2017
- November 2017
- October 2017
- September 2017
- August 2017
- July 2017
- June 2017
- May 2017
- April 2017
- March 2017
- February 2017
- January 2017
- December 2016
- November 2016
- October 2016
The News Diggers
Deputy News Editor
Plot No. Lus/9812/649-MC8
off Alex Chola Road
P.O. Box 32147
Telephone or WhatsApp:
+26-097-7708285, 095-3424603, 096-5815078
diggers [at] diggers [dot] news
editor [at] diggers [dot] news
Send this to a friend