CHILDREN'S CORNER with PANIC CHILUFYA
FOR Zambia to achieve meaningful progress and gender equality in all areas of decision-making positions, it is imperative to motivate young people, especially girls. This can only be possible by exposing young people to positive role models and
mentors who they can look up to for them to make responsible choices as they enter adulthood.
According to research that was reported in Huffington Post Women, in areas where young girls have mentors, the gender gap in teenage education goals has reduced. This is because girls are able to set higher goals for themselves based on the positive role models they are exposed to.
Zambia Women with Skills (ZWWS) should therefore be commended for coming up with the initiative to mentor young women as a way of preparing them for the future, by equipping them with assertive decision-making skills.
ZWWS launched the initiative where girls in secondary schools can access mentorship programmes to help them make good decisions for the future.
Speaking recently, ZWWS president Bwalya Maketo said: “In as much as we realise that we are dealing with women as our mainstream audience, it is the young girls who eventually grow up to be women, wearing different hats such as wife, mother, employee or even employer.”
ZWWS recently launched the Red Flame Initiative to help create positive change among young girls through mentorship, networking and skills training.
Mrs Maketo explained that the platform was created to help young girls in secondary schools aged between 13 and 18 years, to find a purpose in life, by helping them understand the responsibility girls have in shaping a better Zambia.
“As ZWWS, we believe every girl child has the right to be in charge of her own future and her fate, that is why it is important to protect her rights and promote her well-being,” she said.
Mentorship will also help young girls understand the importance of education because as research has proved; when girls are empowered, they hold the key to breaking the cycle of poverty in their families, communities, and society as a whole. On the other hand, due to cultural norms and practices, boys have more mentors and role models when compared to their female counterparts.
Although progress in certain areas has been; achieving gender equity and equality remains a challenge because women remain largely excluded from participating in a number of social, economic and political activities. It is for this reason that organisations such as ZWWS should be applauded for coming up with progressive initiatives to help young girls by ensuring no-one is left behind in accessing all available opportunities for a better and prosperous Zambia.
Remember, children are our future, until next week, take care.
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