Gender Gender

Women deserve to be celebrated

Speak Out on Violence: DORIS KASOTE
AS THE world celebrates Women’s Day tomorrow, it is important to reflect on their achievements and the challenges that they face world over.
March 8 is the day that has been set aside to appreciate and celebrate women. This year’s theme is Time is now: Rural and urban activists transforming women’s lives.
The theme is aimed at transforming this momentum into action and to empower women from rural and urban settings. The theme is also dedicated to celebrate the many activists out there who tirelessly work to ensure women claim their rights and realise their full potential regardless of their background.
However, women in rural areas have continued to lag behind, the more reason for the global momentum that strives for gender parity for all.
The day will also focus on the rights and activism of rural women, as these make up over a quarter of the world’s population and 43 percent of the global agricultural labour force.
The rural women work hard to ensure food security, feed the world, and build climate resilience. Sadly, they still remain sidelined when compared to rural men or urban women because of being discriminated against on the basis of gender.
This year’s theme aims to celebrate rural women and girls and to ensure that they are not left behind; they also deserve same benefits as those of their counterparts in urban areas.
This is the cry that one of the champions against gender-based violence, Maureen Kamiji of Mwinilungu, raised concern over.
She, like many other women in rural areas, feels they have been disadvantaged in more ways than one.
Ms Kamiji says women in rural areas do not even know their rights and feel being victims of GBV is a norm and no woman is expected to report such matters to the police for fear of losing their marriage.
Most women in rural areas are not educated, hence they do not even know their rights. They feel a man is superior to them and whatever he does or says should not be challenged.
To Ms Kamiji, celebrating the day will only be meaningful in the area once issues affecting women are addressed.
Women in rural areas lag behind in so many aspects. As we celebrate this very important day to honour the women, it is important to make an extra effort to ensure that women, both in the rural and urban area on the same footing in as far as recognition and making their lives better is concerned.
Happy Women’s Day.
Until next week, let’s keep in touch,
dkasote@daily-mail.co.zm

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