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The Web is my loudest voice

My Zambian community is highly controlled by traditional beliefs and culture. These norms have been with us since time in memorial and change is accepted at snail’s pace.
These beliefs have resulted in gender roles that have positioned a woman at the bottom of society’s hierarchy. A woman is expected to do one thing only, please man. A woman’s life is literary planned from birth. When she is young, she is taught all the household chores while her brothers are allowed to do whatever they like.
I remember when I was growing up, I would often complain to my parents that I was doing all the hard work while my two elder brothers had it easy and I would always get the response that “your brothers will get married, they won’t have to do that work.”
When she is done with school, she is expected to get married and have children. If for some reason, she never marries, she is frowned upon as a failure in life, no matter how educated. Marriage is considered as success for a Zambian woman. It is the only way a woman gains a bit of respect even though she is the cheap labor in a home and is expected to keep her opinions and aspirations to herself. Marriage is our society’s way of keeping women in their given place!
At that low level, a woman is hardly able to influence change as she is less likely to be taken seriously.
The Women movement has been one of the best champions in reducing the barriers and challenges faced by the female folk.
With this increasing number of educated women, it is much easier to mobilize and fight for our rights.
Zambian women have made a mark in politics and the economy.
Not only are we the highest voters but also the main players in agriculture, the sector that employs 70 percent of workers and feeds the nation.
As Zambian women, we work hard despite our unheard voice and thankfully we have the Web as our biggest tool to speak and be heard.
On September 20, 2011, my country went through elections. The period before and just after the elections were marked by uncertainty as many people expected violence as has been a case in many African countries.
Knowing very well that women and children suffer more when there is civil strife, I joined hands with eight Zambian female journalists and Kenyan ICT experts to work on www.bantuwatch.org a Zambian version of Uchaguzi, which enabled people to report any incidents of violence or related events. The response to this initiative was very good with pockets of violence that were reported quickly acted upon by the authorities.
Bantu Watch demonstrated to me the power of the Web in mobilizing people to act for a common cause.
I have no doubt that PulseWire will give me such opportunities to work for the good of the woman and society at large.
The web is indeed my loudest voice!

Comments

nasreenamina's picture

A wonderful Opportunity

your story is a sample about what happen to many women in their societies. Keep on moving your goal worth it and dont gi ve up!

One's life has value so long as one attributes value to the life of others, by means of love, friendship, indignation and compassion

Follow me @DivinaFeminista

SSBrashear's picture

Dream big!

I am so glad you found a community where you can share ALL of your aspirations and we will keep encouraging you to DREAM BIG. As Prof. Wangari Maathai (may she rest in peace) has shown us all, we are strong, powerful and full of brilliant ideas and aspirations that can indeed come true!! Peace and Blessings to you Mutale!!

Mutale kapekele's picture

Brashear, you can only

Brashear, you can only imagine how happy I am to be here. Thank you so much for your ecouragement. Prof Maathai really paved a way for us. Now we have no excuse not to achieve our dreams and asirations because we have been shown that it can be done!! STAY BLESSED TOO.

Chinemu's picture

Go Girl

Go girl Never give up

Mutale kapekele's picture

Its forward and never a step

Its forward and never a step back Boyi. Thanks a lot

Kadidia's picture

We hear your voice

Dear Mutale,

You described the situation of women in Africa. Your country is not an exception. I am glad you had enough strength to join other women to speak up for the unheard ones in your country. Starting is the most difficult step because of the social pressure and then you can move on. Please keep the Pulse community informed so that eventually we may help.
Good luck and don't forget together women can prevail!

You may want to instruct and inform women of their rights and men about women's rights. Use all the communication media available to you to speak up but be careful about your physical security as some people can get mad.

Kadidia Doumbia

Mutale kapekele's picture

Thankx Kadidia. African women

Thankx Kadidia. African women have been silenced since the begining of time and I live to see the day when all that will change. Yes starting is difficult that is why I appreciate your hand of help. I know you and all our sisters on Pulse will help me with the teething problems and also to learn to stand, walk and run. I am so glad I found you.

Noriah Ismail's picture

Proud of your Actions!

Its is hard to remain open within a closed society, We women are often subjected to the rules of ‘government’, of

institutions which are supposed to protect citizens, but which in this case do the opposite.

BUT, We can try to create change from within, to live the change we want to see. We do it in small ways.

LIKE YOU DO- We are proud of you!!

Dr.Noriah Ismail
Senior Lecturer
Academy of Language Studies
UiTM Segamat Johor
Malaysia

Mutale kapekele's picture

Thanks

Thanks Noriah for your wise words. Love, Mutale

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