Adraida Banda – Zambia

Date: August 19, 2015
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The beneficiary first encountered Gender Links during a management buy-in held in Kabompo, North Western Province of Zambia.

The beneficiary, Adraida Banda, is currently working as a Town Planner for Solwezi Municipal Council in the north western part of Zambia. She joined the council as a planning officer. The nature of her work mainly involves the coordination of developmental activities in the district as well as monitoring and evaluation of the same projects. The beneficiary has been a gender focal person for the two councils she has worked with, that is Kasempa District Council and Solwezi Municipal Council. Her first experience of Gender Links (GL) was at her first place of work when GL organized a workshop for councils in the Kabompo District. The next encounter was in 2013 at a Local Government Association of Zambia meeting, when GL initiated more councils as centres of excellence. This was followed by a national summit at Cresta Golf View in Lusaka.

Gender Links also organised entrepreneurship training workshops with the community. At one workshop a woman broke down as she recalled how her husband had mistreated her for a long time and she could not do anything about it. Being the gender focal person, the beneficiary felt the need to do something to help uplift the living standards of women in order to fight gender based violence (GBV). She felt her position as a gender focal person could not be used in any better way than to help fight the vice.

Adraida believes that the only way to fight gender based violence is to empower women and that this can be done through training which informs women as to how they can sustain themselves. This is reflected in her work with the women in her community where she has facilitated workshops organised by her council. The beneficiary is also able to influence decision makers in the council to allocate a certain budget for gender activities. She has also taken a keen interest in ensuring that the procurement department considers some of the GBV survivors who have received training as suppliers of certain goods to the council, thereby helping them to earn an income.

As the gender focal person for Solwezi, she has also been involved in meetings with Gender Links, such as stage 4 and 5 workshops which helped broaden her understanding of the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development’s targets to be achieved by 2015. It was through these same GL meetings that she realised that some traditional norms and practices perpetuate GBV and that most of the activities that women engage in, such as caregiving, usually go unnoticed and unappreciated. She has also ensured that the council participates in important events such as 16 days of activism to raise awareness of gender issues.

She is conscious of that memorable encounter with Gender Links in 2012 when her council was accorded the status of Centre of Excellence.

With the knowledge acquired from Gender Links, she is now taking advantage of, and making use of, her position as gender focal person to contribute to the achievement of the 28 targets of the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development. She is now more knowledgeable about gender issues from a practical point of view.

Faides Nsofu, then Zambia country manager, greatly contributed to the life of the beneficiary. She has gained more knowledge and exposure to skills around gender. Her public speaking skills have improved and she is able to chair many gender related activities at her work place.

The main challenge the beneficiary faces is that, at the institutional level, gender issues are not treated as a priority and most of the time she, as gender focal person, has to persuade and or lobby for gender programmes to be undertaken.

Her desire is to continue working closely with women and taking advantage of her position in her institution to influence decisions that should benefit women.

Lastly, she appreciates Gender Links’ efforts in trying to ensure that local authorities work towards gender equality. It is imperative that the Ministry of Local Government is also brought on board so that local authorities can be further assisted to achieve this goal.


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