The Non-Governmental Organizations’ Coordinating Council (NGOCC) says efforts to change the status of women in Zambia have continued to be frustrated by legal impediments, inadequate political will, and inadequate resources among others.
Speaking at the handover ceremony of the Kwasha Mukwenu Womens’ Training Center in Matero yesterday, NGOCC Board Publicity Secretary Beatrice Mulevu disclosed that her organization had established a Basket Fund whose purpose was to enhance financial capabilities for women, men, children, youths and the disabled in the country.
“Despite the fact that the number of women is higher than men (constituting over 52% of the population), they have over the past years continued to face challenges in fully participating in various local and national development processes and programmes. Efforts to change the status of women in Zambia have continued to be frustrated by a number of legal impediments, inadequate political will, inadequate resources, poverty, HIV and AIDS, high illiteracy levels and maternal mortality among others,” Mulevu said.
“Through this Basket Fund, NGOCC supports projects that empower women and girls, especially with education and life skill development. This is to enable them compete favorably in the market economy, and for self actualization towards development.”
Mulevu revealed that Kwasha Mukwenu, a member of the NGOCC applied and received a grant of K370,000 from the Norwegian government through the NGOCC Basket Fund, to purchase and renovate a house which has since been turned into an office space and skills training center for women and youths.
“Under this grant, Kwasha Mukwenu received K370,000 to purchase and renovate this house and the renovations were completed in February 2017. These new premises will not only give prominence to the organization and the good work they are doing in this community but will also go further to provide a clean and conducive environment for the children to learn from. It will also provide enough space for community members to learn various skills and better their lives,” said Mulevu.
Kwasha Mukwenu Women Group is a member of the NGOCC which has been helping women and girls in Matero to attain skills towards their self reliance and establishment of enterprises and gaining of financial independence.
The women group has for the past been operating under a tree due to lack of office space.