WOMEN EMPOWERMENT CRITICAL TO THIS GENERATION
Women constitute about 51 per cent of the country’s population therefore the role that women play in the Zambian economy can not be over looked as it is very critical our generation. The question one would ask is how and why is women participation important to the Zambian economy?
If one takes time to look at the ways our modern men and women live there lives today, it has been established that most women have proven to be more productive than most our men, it has been noticed for instance that when you visit markets and other trading places today you will be able notice a large number of trade going on which mostly conducted by women. Women have taken a centre stage in developmental activities unlike the old days where their role was to sit home and cook for husbands and Children the odds have changed time in the 21st centaury in Zambia, Africa and other countries across World. Most women have risen to effectively contribute to national and economic development through their strong entrepreneurial skills as it is clearly seen in Zambia were women are the largest stakeholders trading in markets and also conducting other small scale businesses various places.
Agriculture is one of the areas women entrepreneurs are doing very as the have started small scale agro business such as growing and sealing of commodities ranging from vegetables, tomatoes, fish, onion to mention but a few, this kind of innovation by our mothers and sisters is encouraging and needs to be commended by all well thinking individuals.
The next question one would ask is what is happening to the most of our men fox while our women fox so well, once again one can move in different townships of Lusaka such as Garden, Chilenje, Kabwata, Kanyama, Chiboya, Matero to mention but a few as early as 09hours to see the activities going on.
One will be surprised to see how many of our men are wasting their productive hours drinking the lungs out, it has on the other hand lately been observed that most of our men spend there productive time drinking in bars and once they are drunk they go home to go and sleep and get ride there “hang over” while this is happening women are very working hard for children and in order for them to have a livelihood. This does not mean that all men are not hard working obvious there general exceptions to these different ways of lives as there are men who are hard working out there and a number of them, the only thing one has not notice is who is more productive in the total hours given in a particular day. After drinking when these men go to there homes mostly due to there unstable drinking habits are usually abusive and oppose a treat to women as they can easily get sexually transmitted infections or even worse HIV/ADIS. Mostly heavy drinking of alcohol causes unsafe sexual practices which will put innocent women at home on risk of having serious diseases like HIV/AIDS which in the long run reduce the effectiveness of these hard working women if there infected with the virus, instead of spending time doing their business they will rather seek treatment or medical attention over a particular infection or disease they is suffering from to prolong there lives.
Women empowerment is critical to this generation bearing in mind what women can do they need to empowered in many ways such as providing special loans to them for those starting bankable business and are already doing well but needs to expand there business, skills training workshops, seminars are needed to build their capacity on modern ways of doing business and incorporated in deliberate programs that specifically deals with empowering our women, other things that can be done is to provide and build effective business networks for them learn responsible ways of doing business and also how there colleagues in other towns or countries are doing there business Education is also cardinal more women need to be enrolled into schools to get educated, Indra Ghandi of the mid 1960s – and early 1980s once said… So, I hope all of you who have this great advantage of education will not only do whatever work you are doing keeping national interests in view, but you will make contribution to creating peace and harmony, to bringing beauty in the lives of our people and our country.
There is need to introduce awards to those women that have been constant in the business to encourage continue working hard and let them know that the world appreciates there efforts and contribution to economic growth and mankind.
The Empowerment of women is beneficial economically and socially as women will contribute to the growth of the economy if supported in their business, it means of problems of unemployment will be reduced, the be contributing tax to the government and they will directly invest in the future generation as they send there children to schools , the HIV/ ADIS infection rate will be reduced as more women will be empowered reducing the vulnerability that there usually exposed to which in most cases leads to an increase of prostitution, increase of street kids and lately there been a increase in women trying to smuggle drugs to others countries, empowerment will mean the reduction of all theses vices.
Mundia Paul Hakoola
Mobile: +260979 – 99 52 47 / +260978 98 11 51