Shardys Mano-Zambia

Shardys Mano-Zambia

Date: June 30, 2015
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Normal 0 false false false EN-GB X-NONE X-NONE Shardys Mano was born in a small town called Kabwe. He is a psychosocial councillor by profession and loves his community in Kapiri District.

“I became involved in gender issues when I was invited to a gender meeting by Genderlinks. My journey with GL started in 2012 when the country manager organised a meeting at Kapiri District Council. This initial encounter with GL spelled out the beginning of my journey towards gender enlighten and advocacy.

I work with communities in Kapiri Mposhi. My community is large and is facing several hardships caused mainly by HIV/AIDS. I first heard about Gender Links (GL) through the council Gender Focal Person (GFP) at our Kapiri Council. The meeting was to be organised and chaired by the Zambia country manager. I was invited to attend as one of the community volunteers to attend the workshop.

The meeting was very educative as it taught me about several gender issues that I seemed to overlook in my everyday life and interaction with other people especially women. I learnt about the several disadvantages of gender inequality such as gender based violence. She talked about several issues such as sexual harassment among other Gender based Violences. The dignity of a woman was highlighted and I realized just how much we abuse women. After much learning and understanding of what was presented in the meeting I came to realise my mistakes and where other men faltered.

Even though I had previously heard about gender and gender equality nothing comes close to the impact made in my life by Genderlinks.

I have not at any time regretted joining the GL committee except for the fact that it always left me wanting to learn more. The meetings were so interesting and involving from the time I started attending them. My perception and attitude has changed in that I no longer disregard girls or young women and I now teach my friends and other people I come into contact with about gender based violence and the importance of gender equality.

As a way of contributing to my community besides being a psychosocial counsellor, I now encourage young women and female relatives to advance as far as they can education wise and by being a good example of a loving husband, family man and community leader. My influence in other people’s lives can be seen in my friends who have begun changing by learning from my situation and how I handle issues of family, work religion and how I link everything to gender and equality.

There have been several contributors to my change in character the largest being GL. I have not been attending meetings by GL frequently but the material that they make available goes a long way in keeping us abreast on the latest trends in gender and the latest prevalence levels and figures.

I would like to reach out to more people in the community and not just those I know or come into contact with as a result of my job. But I would also like to reach out to people whose lives are dictated by adverse cultural and traditional norms. This can be even easier if I could have access to some excess reading material that I could use to train and educate people on gender issues. I want to thank GL for their efforts that continue yielding a lot of good results. May they continue with their work and may they reach out to more people.

I would also like to urge the GL to hold more workshops as people tend to learn more from them than from meetings they have with people in the communities. I would like to see the GL carry out workshops to sensitize children both able bodied and physically challenged. It is much easier to train a child than to transform an adult.

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