Education and youth engagement
Women, girls, children and youth in Zambia continue to face various challenges in society which result in inequalities. We also know that it is more sustainable and strategic to effect change at the level of children/youth as we will be guaranteed of a changed future. It is for this reason that some of our interventions for change will deliberately target children and youths. In Nakonde, ActionAid is investing in gender analysis and gender and child/youth sensitive initiatives in order to address issues of discrimination and inequality. We are also influencing the development and revision of education policies and programs at local level to support access, retention and progression of 2,000 children as well as have 130 communities actively engaging in monitoring educational outcomes that support children’s learning.
Inclusive and participatory governance
There are currently a number of created spaces in Nakonde through which the local community can participate in governance activities such as the Parent Teachers Association, Ward Development Committees, the District Women Association and the full council. Some of these spaces - thought to be open - are technically closed due to the limitation of the venues and in many instances very few community members are aware of their existence. Currently, there is no forum through which political leaders such as MPs and councillors can provide feedback to the community other than political rallies, which are usually one sided. There is also no interface between the service providers and the community where priorities, needs and plans should be shared for better service delivery. The capacity of service providers to respond to community needs is also limited in many respects. This results in poor and unfocused service delivery, misplaced priorities and poor targeting among others.
The issue of women rights violation and discrimination in Nakonde are rampant and often accepted. The main push factor is the dowry that the man pays when marrying which traditionally provides him with an unlimited number of reasons to mistreat and control the woman. It is also true that women of Nakonde generally do more work than men as confirmed through critical analysis of the gender roles with the community.
Structurally, Nakonde now has a District Women Association (DWA) which is an umbrella body that supervises the 13 Area Women Associations (AWA) covering the ward, which in turn supervises the clubs within each ward. In a bid to have each ward represented, the membership of the DWA is drawn from across the district and therefore poses coordination challenges. Currently, the capacity of the DWA to mobilise, analyse, design, plan, advocate and monitor women issues is limited. The situation is not any different for the AWAs. The district currently has 140 clubs, 90 of which are registered. The other challenge is that regarding mobilisation of all the women constituents as the DWA is seen only in respect of the women clubs especially when it comes to campaigns.