Friday, 16 September 2011


'Raising a generation of young feminist leaders’

16th September 2011,
YOUNG WOMEN the Missing Piece in the Forthcoming Elections
Among the 1, 064, 730 new registered young voters, more than 60% are young women between the ages of 18-35 yet, none of the political parties have nominated a single young woman and none of them are talking about addressing the needs of young women.Young women are the hardest hit by any adverse situation experienced by the country including the impact of HIV and AIDS (16% prevalence rate among women aged 15 -49), unemployment and poverty. This situation calls for political commitment towards addressing the unmet needs for young women.
Equal access of men and women to power, decision-making and leadership at all levels is a necessary precondition for the proper functioning of democracy. However, women, especially young women remain an exception to the rule as very few are selected to actively participate in leadership and decision making, and more needs to be done to overcome the major obstacles that inhibit women’s participation and representation in decision making.
Due to the unequal power relations between men and women there is no significant representation of women let alone young women in decision making processes at national level. In the previous National Assembly, women made up only 14 percent, which fell far below the original target goal of 30 percent set by the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) states, and the current goal of 50 percent set by the SADC and the African Union. Yet, for the upcoming elections only a few women have been adopted as candidates by their parties. Women can certainly do more than wear party chitenges, sing songs and welcome party leaders. Women are capable of leading.
As young women, we strongly urge voters to support women candidates by voting for them in the 20 September Elections. This will help bridge the gap between men and women in leadership positions and thereby increase Zambia’s progress towards meeting the SADC and AU target. We further urge the voters, to ensure that they conduct themselves in a peaceful manner and desist from any form of violence, intimidation and attacks on women candidates and other political party supporters.
We strongly urge political party leaders, that should they win the 2011 elections, they should ensure that they take affirmative action to ensure that women, especially young women, are appointed to take up leadership in the cabinet, and various decision making positions in the various ministries.
As young women, we are in solidarity with women candidates, and therefore, urge them to ensure that they actively participate in leadership and decision making and work towards addressing the various issues affecting women.
phone: +26 0967 374624

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

In All Ways A Woman

I love this piece by Maya Angelou titled: 'In All Ways A Woman' on..its a gr8 piece...

In my young years I took pride in the fact that luck was called a lady. In fact, there were so few public acknowledgments of the female presence that I felt personally honored whenever nature and large ships were referred to as feminine. But as I matured, I began to resent being considered a sister to a changeling as fickle as luck, as aloof as an ocean, and as frivolous as nature. The phrase "A woman always has the right to change her mind" played so aptly into the negative image of the female that I made myself a victim to an unwavering decision. Even if I made an inane and stupid choice, I stuck by it rather than "be like a woman and change my mind."

Being a woman is hard work. Not without joy and even ecstasy, but still relentless, unending work. Becoming an old female may require only being born with certain genitalia, inheriting long-living genes and the fortune not to be run over by an out-of-control truck, but to become and remain a woman command the existence and employment of genius.

The woman who survives intact and happy must be at once tender and tough. She must have convinced herself, or be in the unending process of convincing herself, that she, her values, and her choices are important. In a time a nd world where males hold sway and control, the pressure upon women to yield their rights-of-way is tremendous. And it is under those very circumstances that the woman's toughness must be in evidence.

She must resist considering herself a lesser version of her male counterpart. She is not a sculptress, poetess, authoress, Jewess, Negress, or even (now rare) in university parlance a rectoress. If she is the thing, then for her own sense of self and for the education of the ill-informed she must insist with rectitude in being the thing and in being called the thing.
A rose by any other name may smell as sweet, but a woman called by a devaluing name will only be weakened by the misnomer. She will need to prize her tenderness and be able to display it at appropriate times in order to prevent toughness from gaining total authority and to avoid becoming a mirror image of those men who value power above life, and control over love.

It is imperative that a woman keep her sense of humor intact and at the ready. She must see, even if only in secret, that she is the funniest, looniest woman in her world, which she should also see as being the most absurd world of all times. It has been said that laughter is therapeutic and amiability lengthens the life span. Women should be tough, tender, laugh as much as possible, and live long lives. The struggle for equality continues unabated, and the woman warrior who is armed with wit and courage will be among the first to celebrate victory.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011


I ask myself:  what makes me a woman?  Is it my biological makeup that makes me different from men? For most that’s what makes women different from men. This biological make up is actually reason enough to treat women differently as regards decision making, employment specialisation and so on. As common as this may be, it is actually unjust. I believe women should be accorded the same opportunities to participate in decision making positions as their male counterparts. 
As a feminist, being a woman means I can handle many circumstances just as well as a man can. It does not mean that I am against men; it means that I refuse to be treated differently by virtue of being a woman. I believe the hand that rocks the cradle can also rule the world.  It’s not just an adage, but a notion that has every possibility of becoming a reality. I envision a world where men and women can be treated equally, where a woman is not undermined or belittled because she is regarded as the ‘weaker sex’.  I believe this world will achieve goals much quicker than the prevailing one where a woman is second guessed when it comes to corporate decision making but embraced when those decisions are made on the home front.
What makes me a woman is not the fact that I can nurture, but that I can use my nurturing spirit to make all encompassing decisions which do not segregate but can accomplish results which can benefit everyone. What makes me a woman is not the fact that I can bear children, but that I can bear children who will learn values and attitudes from me that will enable them contribute positive change to the world.
 Sibongile Ndaba