Jan 3, 2011

Woman, humiliate yourself no more

Photo Credit: lusakatimes.com


2011 is an important year for Zambians; we have general and presidential elections on the table. The bickering has been going on non-stop between the ruling party and the would-be opposition. As things stand right now I do not foresee the incumbent president losing his party’s nomination or the ruling party losing its grip on power. But strange do happen, and we may be surprised.

As the campaigns hit high gear in coming months, we’ll inevitably see politicians going into rural areas with sacks of mealie-meal and fertiliser to court voters, all with the promise that “so-and-so is the best candidate to deliver services to the people of Zambia and to that particular area.” They’ll also find some influential women to endorse their candidate, and sing jubilant praises.

Yet again we’ll hear how women will have a more prominent role in national policies. And, oh how we shall dance! *I shudder at the thought*

It really aggravates not only when false promises are made but when WE as the electorate swallow them whole, no questions asked. I especially want to take women to task on this issue. Why do we sit back and let others decide our inheritance rights, how maternal health will be funded, and other such issues near and dear to our hearts? Where are OUR voices?

We are well versed on sad stories of widows being dispossessed of their belongings by relatives, mothers haemorrhaging to death after child birth because the blood bank didn’t have the right blood type for a transfusion, and of children dying from preventable illnesses because the nearest clinic was too far away or there were no medicines.

We know there are serious deficiencies with service delivery in healthcare and other areas, as well as in basic protections for women and their children, but does anyone march to State House or Parliament demanding action? No! Those of us with the means do not take the risks for our fellow citizens and are therefore complicit wit
h our leadership that is slumbering at the wheel. This is not something we can continue abdicate to NGOs to do on our behalf.

Our efforts need to be coordinated and targeted. I am tired of seeing women my grandmother’s age dancing at the airport when the president arrives from his countless trips or at rallies. It’s incredibly humiliating to watch because someone has sold them the idea that that role is their contribution to the nation and/or the party. And that’s complete crap! Political activism goes beyond chanting slogans and hurling insults at others.

Woman, take off that chitenge with the politician’s face imprinted on it and start demanding real action and representation for all the numerous trips to the polls you have made in your lifetime. Better yet, stand up and be the representative for your people. Stop being manipulated and coddled by those whose real interests do not line up with your own. 

3 comments:

Good post!

This is a big issue actually!

I think women, children and elderly are in s tough spot. These are the voiceless!

Taking women as an example - they don't read or write. But nearly every woman I have met moans about poverty. As you say they feel it more than anyone! I'd you take those three vulnerable groups, you'll see it's women who look after the other two.

They only dance because they are voiceless. I am sorry to say the real problem are educated Zambian women who have escaped village life. Or those who ate Ministers or MPs. They don't stand for them. It's a shame really.

What is sad is that even teenagers in Zambia are without hope. The future of the Zambian woman is on Facebook now, and it looks very hopeless. No job, no positive living, just taking photos! I have nieces in the village and they have a bleak future ahead of them.

We need redemption!

This is indeed a big issue. Sadly our female ministers and MPs are just a slightly more sophisticated version of the dancers. There is very little of substance that emerges from their mouths and they certainly have not prioritised the real issues that need to be addressed. They act as Vuvuzelas for the "Father of the Nation" or the opposition.

And beyond the female politicians (ruling party and opposition) the rest of us can also be held accountable. We need to be the ones to speak up and demand answers on the consistent neglect of urban and rural dwellers.

We don't need anymore reports with sad statistics about child marriages in Luapula province to convince us that action is needed. The president and his inner circle will not be moved until enough people make noise. And the same can be said for the opposition who play by the same rule book.

Who will answer the call to action?

Lets stop embarassing ourselves right here!
Women cant read and write is a false statement at best. The brilliant women whose blog we are on now is one of millions and millions of African women who are not only literate but brilliant thinkers and very eloquent too!!!

Sure worldwide women's position is largely subordinate, the ones that break into the corporate system are confronted with the galss ceiling. Sure many women who make it onto the decision making scene sell out but .."The problem is the educated women who have left the village" is hardly true as well, is it.

Its an onion of issues on this one. Voice is an issue, platform, what to say, how to say it bla bla bla. What now, should be the question? What can I do, would be another nice one. What am I doing, would be even nicer...What are YOU doing?

Sorry if I sound rude, no harm intended truelly

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