Women in Governance

“Women in Governance (WIG)” is an extension from “Women´s groups” programs.

The program educates women on their rights, the need to be equal partners in development of their communities and encourages and empowers them to participate in traditional, political and religious governance structures. The realization that women need to be a part and parcel of the Governance systems at whatever level cannot be over emphasized. Response Network has partnered with Norwegian Church Aid for this program.

There is a great development within the program. Looking into many communities that have embraced the WIG concept, there have been a lot of changes taken place both at household and community levels. People are more conscious of their rights. There has been a decrease in gender based violence.  Women are getting more involved in communities, as six women so far were selected chair persons for Area Development committees.

Stories from participants:                     

After a WIG-workshop Headman Siazilombo said – “The workshop in my community was an eye opener to the community. After the workshop about five women were put into leadership positions. One woman was elected in the Parents Teachers Association School Committee, one  to Area Development Committee and three women in the village committee.”

To him, this was a very great step as it had never happened before. To the question about what Headman Siazilombo thought prevented women from participating in the past, he answered – “Women were very dependent on men and even men were content with the status core. There was a lot of ignorance among men and women about women having a say in decision making. Traditional norms and culture have also played a role on the attitude of women.

Estelia Lungu at Kantamba village had this to say:

I was invited as a participant to a community workshop in my village organized by Response Network. I attended the workshop and on the first day we learnt a lot that made me reflect on my life as a married woman. For a long time I have lived in a marriage where my husband does not treat me as an equal partner he is the boss and what he says goes without question.

On the second day of the workshop I convinced and managed to bring my husband along for the workshop. My husband later at the end of the workshop confessed his ignorance of the real place of women in society. He said he did not know that women had a say or that they can even make any decisions. Now I know thank you for enlightening me the husband said.”