Jane. C. Malambo-Zambia

Jane. C. Malambo-Zambia

Date: June 30, 2015
  • SHARE:

Born in Chililabombwe and raised on the Copperbelt, Jane works for the Ndola City Council as acting Chief Committee Clerk. The council works with Genderlinks (GL) to foster gender mainstreaming in the local government structures. The Council selected Jane to be part of the gender committee representatives of the council. And that’s how she met GL. This is Jane’s story.

I became involved in gender issues when I was invited to be part of a gender meeting organized by Genderlinks but hosted by the Ndola City Council. I perform general office duties such as keeping records or sending out correspondence. I also advise and help different people who come to the council to seek assistance. My job enables me to interact with different people and I have made use of the knowledge that I have acquired from GL to give advice to politicians and other influential people on issues of gender.

I first heard about Genderlinks (GL) at my place of work, when the government was selecting representatives for the gender committee. I got interested in joining the committee because I knew little about gender issues and I wanted to learn more. I eventually met GL in 2010 during workshop organised by the country manager. I have been attending GL meetings since then and some of the material provided like the Zambia Local Government Gender Action Plan Manual are very useful in preparing and conducting sensitization exercises.

The literature provides a lot of information on gender and women’s issues. This has led to an improved understanding of gender through terms such as unequal power relations, practical gender needs and gender analysis.

I have to come to learn that in this fight against gender discrimination, it is not just the men who are culprits but women too. The elderly women around our communities sometimes tend to advocate practices that are gender biased. It is therefore important that as we target women and men for sensitization let us not leave out the traditional leaders.

A while ago I was discussing with colleagues that I had been looking about how the number of men in this council outweigh women. I was of the view that now that we know about gender mainstreaming and equality we should allow women to lead. Some agreed with my notion while others were in denial. However, this was just another conversation.

I was not active about Gender Issues before I met (GL). But now, I have learnt a lot about gender that I feel I can talk to others people about it confidently. This knowledge has helped me reach out to more people as I am now fully aware of gender and women’s issues. Because of GL the council is planning on introducing more programmes that will enable people consult them on cross cutting issues such as gender and land inheritance.

My life now has changed; I did not like to talk about gender issues at the office but now am free to do so and I am now a pillar of consolation to GBV survivors in our council and communities as well. I would like to commend GL for their organisation and efforts towards improving the livelihoods of women and girls. A lot of women and girls now know their rights and are aware about GBV and that any form of GBV can be reported to the Victim Support Unit (VSU), Gender Focal Persons or any Paralegal Desk in the community.

I have acquired some skills by interacting with GL. I am now a counsellor; I am able to handle GBV cases effectively and efficiently and I have come to learn about the SADC Protocol on Gender through the material that has been provided to the council by GL. Reading the Protocol has taught me to respect all human beings and to treat them equally regardless of their gender and sex.

Most men find it difficult to accept that women are equal to them and so they try by all means to make examples of women who fail to carry out their duties. But I find much encouragement in our superior the Ndola Town clerk Charity Mphande Nande who is a woman of substance and has been able to carry out her duties excellently. Ever since she took office not once have we complained about delayed salary payments, a problem that was common at the council.

In the future, I hope to see women’s mind-sets changed so they no longer look down upon other women and the quota for women’s representation in parliament increased to 50 per cent plus more.



Comment on Jane. C. Malambo-Zambia

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