Lui River children may grow up in a more gender equal world.
This is part of the Community Development Program: Learn more about ABM’s Programs here
ABM and its partner, Zambia Anglican Council, have been working to improve gender equality outcomes across many parts of Zambia since 2011. The church’s Gender and Governance Program addresses gender inequality, including advocacy about women’s rights with government, within the Church itself and with the broader community.
The program has sought to confront cultural traditions which deny women equal rights and has even addressed negative theological interpretations of the status of women perpetuated by some members of the Church.
Some of the program activities have included mobilising communities and parishes to participate in International Women’s Day activities and church and community participation in campaigns such as the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence.
Other aspects of the program have sought to equip communities and parishes to learn about and develop skills to deal with Gender-Based Violence (GBV) at the local level. Communities have formed Gender Action Groups, who become champions of gender equality and the quest to eliminate gender-based violence. Some of these are then trained to counsel members of their communities and churches who are experiencing GBV first hand, and to refer cases to the police and women’s refuges.
One of these groups is the Lui Mwemba Gender Action Group, which ABM visited in 2015. This is a group of 20 community volunteers, 10 men and 10 women, representing various parts of the community. They receive training and are assisted with a group income generating activity to fund their travel and meeting costs in spreading the word about gender equality and the elimination of GBV.
In this very remote and economically impoverished part of Western Zambia, community members work hard and speak passionately about the changes they have brought about. These include working with the local school and parents to change attitudes about girls being “sold” into early marriage upon the girl getting pregnant.
Grace, one of the group members recounted this story: “A few days ago a girl child was about to be married. The fee had already been paid by the husband (who was a boy at the same school) to the girl’s parents. I went to the village and advised the parents not to marry her, but to let her stay at school. The value of the child would increase if she stayed at school. So they called the girl’s uncle and he came and took her to school in the Copper Belt.”
In an address to one of the Lui Mwemba Gender Action Group’s meetings, Crispin, a member of the group said, “We pledge to tirelessly work extra hard to bring positive behaviour change to our community. As you know, changing someone’s attitude is not a walk-over thing. It needs power and time.”
You can fuel this power and bring change to attitudes in Zambia by supporting this project.
ZM003GE needs $35,000 in 2016 (tax-deductible)
|This project receives partial funding from the Australian Government.
HOW TO DONATE
You can make an online donation to this project by selecting Zambia: Gender and Governance Initiative from the full project list.
Alternatively, for donations by cheque/money order (made out to the Anglican Board of Mission – Australia), telephone or email, view contact details here. Please don’t forget to include the project name and/or code with your payment details.
Gifts to ABM will be applied to the support of project(s) selected. In the unlikely event of the project being oversubscribed or not proceeding to completion, donations will be applied to a similar project to the one(s) selected.
September 2016 – ABM recently commissioned an evaluation to assess the value and impact of the Gender and Governance Program in Zambia. The results of this evaluation were recently sent to ABM, with some very positive results. Read more.
Gender and Governance: The Church in Zambia
This documentary shares how the Anglican Church in Zambia is working to empower women and improve governance.