In Zambia, since independence, with each new leader, structures and mechanisms put in place to serve the people and uphold peace have gradually lost their value. Politics have become more polarised and exclusionary. There has been a growing intolerance for opposition, tribalisation of politics has occurred and there is severe breakdown in inter-party deliberation.
With this severe break down in the system, society is suffering. The most vulnerable and poor, majority of whom are women have no access to basic rights such as health and education that should be provided and protected by policymakers. Those who are less vulnerable continue to suffer as well, with fewer opportunities for them to have a good standard of living.
The non-partisan Women Silent No More campaign (#WomenSilentNoMore) has been created by frustrated Zambian female social activists to demand for a better Zambia for all citizens. The Women Silent No More movement, highlights that each person in Zambian society, women and men alike have something that frustrates them about the system. Each citizen has something that they are saying “no” about. The movement is therefore calling on citizens to speak up about what they are saying no about.
Although the African woman has barriers that inhibit her from exercising her full potential, she has power which is mostly invisible and plays a significant role in shaping society. One woman runs a house hold and raises children who live by the positive values she teaches them. Another takes advantage of entrepreneurial opportunities and the chance to bring attention to social justice issues. Others through their various spheres play key roles that are of value to wider society.
By recognising the significant role a Zambian woman can play in bringing about social change, Women Silent No More is harnessing the strength of women to demand a better Zambia for all. Women refuse to suffer in silence, to watch their country deteriorate and to accept the growing inequality that stems from poor policy-making.
To attend a key event, women in Zambia, be sure to keep May 18 and 19 free. Join other women in calling for a better Zambia for all citizens!
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Best of Africa.
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