Senkwe Chanda – Zambia

Senkwe Chanda – Zambia

Date: June 6, 2012
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I first met the Gender Links Zambia Country Manager in 2010. Since then, I’ve undertaken the process of the COE in Zambia, and have undergone the training through workshops held in our district. We have now completed 5 stages, and I can already see how staff are benefitting, especially in terms of planning.

When I first heard about Gender Links, I just wanted to know what it was about. Gender was not a new issue to me, but definitely not one I had considered focusing on in my tenure. I attended the workshops and saw that Faides knew what she was talking about. These experiences led me to the Gender Justice and Local Government Summit in 2012, where I presented on the COE process in my country.

I think that the most important function of coming together like the delegates have at the Gender Links Summit is to network. Gender Links provides good spaces to communicate, which is necessary for us to learn, and improve our practices. Sometimes the benefits we get from summits like this seem intangible, but sometimes it leads to very concrete collaboration.

There is definitely a long lasting purpose to the work that is done by Gender Links, and the way that we are cooperating. I knew how to do my job before I met GL, but I can see the benefits of focusing on gender. It’s now much more concrete to me, how to interlink gender with other elements of my work, for example. There are so many issues around gender, and when we are given the chance to open up to one another between different countries, we always learn something. It has also helped build my communications skills, which has helped the gender message be heard by a wider audience in my community.

As a council, we have taken the initiative to start a street naming process which we hope will help the community respond to GBV. This strategy is a way I’ve learned through gender links to have more gender sensitive planning. If people are able to to report their locations after having faced GBV for instance, response may be improved simply by ensuring that authorities are at the right place to respond to the crime. We are also aware of the need for street lights to light roads so that women feel safer. It is easier when you involve women in the planning process. As a team, we work effectively in our programming because it is clear what needs to be done.

I can see how other people benefit from Gender Links as well, like with IT training. I am confident that the team from Zambia will make it far this year, because we have all been very active on gender. This exposure is good for all of us, not just myself and my work.



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