Febby Chanda – Zambia

Febby Chanda – Zambia

Date: June 7, 2012
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One of four women in the 28-member Luanshya council of Councillor, Febby Chanda faced an uphill battle when she ran for Council. Approached to stand for election by the women in the peri-urban Chiluba ward because (unlike them) she was a teacher with an education she felt obliged to stand. Fed up with the inaction of men councillors, the women declared that this time they wanted a woman; as one put it, “we have been cheated by men, we have had men for quite some time now, this time we want a change; we want a woman to contest.”

Despite having the support of the community, men from her own party did not want her to stand. Of the six contenders from her party, the MMD, she was the only woman. Following the interview with the community she was chosen as the candidate, but it did not end there as it should have.

The male contestants protested saying that a woman cannot be the councillor in the area because she will be not be able to do the work because the area is too vast. Fortunately, she had the backing of the women, and they stuck by her and protested. The outcome was a second interview. Following this interview, from which she again emerged the winner, she became the party candidate, stood for elections and won.

“My ward is very vast, there are six different communities in my ward and I have to go everywhere on foot. If I want to go campaigning, I have to go on foot. When I want to talk to the community, I have to go on foot. This makes my job very difficult. I have to use my own my own resources to help the communities; I am not a business woman but a teacher. I grow maize and when the community approaches me for help I make sacrifices and give them bags of maize meal. When there is a death in the community, they come to me for money for a coffin or for food. And the council gives us about five million kwacha each year, which we use to develop the community. In my ward, which is so very vast, this is peanuts.”


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