Winfridah Chibanga – Zambia

Date: August 19, 2015
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The beneficiary’s first encounter with Gender Links (GL) was during a village level meeting in 2012. She came across Gender Links in other meetings as well as during the entrepreneurship training workshops organised by GL.

The gender focal point person for Chipata, Winfridah Chibanga, used to only hear about Gender Links from others until she became engaged with them through Chipata District Council when she was asked to do logistical arrangement for the COE’s village level meeting. While responsible for these logistical arrangements, she was asked to invite 25 people to a workshop, but to her surprise, more than a hundred participants turned up for the workshop. During the same workshop, the facilitator, Isaac Zulu, posed a question as to who a gender based violence (GBV) perpetrator was. The answer given by the men was that women also beat their partners, and some of them were being battered by their women. Winfridah found this very funny.

The worst scenario was when the men made a suggestion that they form a neighbourhood watch association to deal with cases where women abuse men.

Winfridah’s first encounter with GL was when her immediate supervisor attended a meeting with GL and later came back with GL brochures. Her supervisor encouraged her to read more of the GL documentation and said that Winfridah would be the one to attend such meetings, especially because she was working in the Gender Department. A year later, that supervisor was transferred to another council and Winfridah had to take over from him. She was later called by the GL COE consultant to organise a meeting for council staff as well as villagers. A second workshop entitled Situation Analysis was also held. In addition to the COE’s workshops, she also attended the GBV survivors’ identification workshop and the rest of the entrepreneurship workshops.

Her work as an Assistant Community Development Officer and gender focal point person mainly consists of logistical arrangements and organisation of gender activities in the district. These include International Women’s Day, 16 Days of Gender Activism as well as the preparatory meetings. Fundraising for such events is also her responsibility. She also works as the secretariat for Chipata District Gender Sub-Committee for the District Development Coordinating Committee.

Winfridah says: “The main challenge that I have faced during the time I have worked with Gender Links is that the organisation of programmes are mostly done at short notice, as a result it is very difficult to plan, especially because I have other responsibilities as a council worker.”

Among some of her achievements as a result of interacting with GL are the increase in her understanding of gender issues and the ability she now has to influence policies made by the council.

Finally, she would like to thank GL for reaching out to GBV survivors through training and attempting to change the way that people look at a woman through engaging the council workers during their training sessions.



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