Catherine Chapeshamano – Zambia

Catherine Chapeshamano – Zambia

Date: June 30, 2015
  • SHARE:


Women can make a difference in politics and can make a significant contribution towards the future well-being of our country.

The inequality of women and men can only end if the local government raise awareness and promote the need of women participation, Women’s progress in local government representation and political participation will enable them to achieve the highest positions in politics.

As the only female councillor in Kafue district, I have been advocating for greater women representation, women must have an equal presence and voice in the Zambian politics. For not against female candidates should be out, as this is the only way we can strengthen democracy.

My name is Catherine Chapeshamano, a councillor for Matanda ward in Kafue district; I am 54 years and I am a widow. I am a trained Secretary from Zambia Institute of technology and I am also a business person.

I first met Gender Links in 2008 when Kafue district council was given a chance to be participate in the gender and local government research, then I also participated in the strategy workshop in 2009, we were later selected to do a trainer the trainers workshop in South Africa with my other female councillors. Since then, as a council we have a good working relationship with Gender Links which keeps on going stronger each and every day.

I give credit to Gender links for undertaking research on gender and Local government; this is what has led to gender mainstreaming in local authorities. I have come to understand that gender equality is not just having equal number of women and men, but women and men having equal chances.

The memories that I have with Gender links will go a long way and I will never forget them. Among many things that Gender links has done, attending the summit in Johannesburg is the experience that I will never forget. I did not win any awards, but I am glad I had a chance to learn from other people from different countries. It was the experience that I am proud of and I still treasure the moment.

As a council chairperson I head the institution and chair all council meetings, I also represent the council at various forums. Gender links has held a number of workshops with the council, through the programmes that we have been having together, we as the council have been able to select a gender focal person and projects have been presented and implemented. The council has extended the gender programmes in various communities reaching as far as chipongwe.

I have been a gender activist for several years now, so with me change happened a long time; however Gender links has provided me with more knowledge which has led to additional satisfaction.

I can’t forget to congratulate Gender links for organising a big event such as the Gender Justice and Local Government Summit and awards. The summit is a way forward to meet the 28 targets of the SADC Protocol on gender and development by 2015.

Well, I want to congratulate Faides Nsofu for making me realise that advocacy on gender equality is a continuous process. Faides is a well-known person at the council, each time we see her, we see Gender links. She is a very hard working person, and she is always communicating with the council whenever anything comes up. She is a good facilitator and she has transformed many lives through her hard work. I always enjoy when the question session starts because she has all answers to ever question.

I have acquired skills, values, knowledge and attitude through Gender links. My public speaking has greatly improved; I articulate issues on gender very well. Managing of women groupings has helped me enhance my capacity to communicate. I have learnt how to train people on issues of gender, monitoring and evaluation training has helped me track projects that I do in the community. I believe that M and E is vital as it will help assess the performance.

I enjoy talking about gender so what I do now is that I go in various institutions to sensitise on gender equality and I encourage women to have self- confidence, I remind them to use their human rights to participate in any political activity. Through my work, I have inspired a lot. So many women have gained courage especially that I am the only female councillor in Kafue district. Women want to join politics and become leaders, but their main worry is whether political leaders will adopt them.

Female politicians face stigma from male members of the political party to which they belong to hence, undermine the women to reach or maintain the leadership roles. Political leaders should be aware that as women are also capable of becoming leaders It is very sad that I am the only female councillor meaning, women’s voices are not heard.

Female representatives promote a more gender society, women’s presence in political decision making is essential to the quality of democracy. I am grateful to Gender links for promoting participation of women in development programmes and this has made government realise the importance of women to participate in development issues.

One thought on “Catherine Chapeshamano – Zambia”

Comment on Catherine Chapeshamano – Zambia

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *