That Woman Thing… By Theresa Lungu

Ah the revolution or not…

Theresa Lungu

I just finished reading an article by Lady C published on this site in which she writes quote, the majority of Zambian women in the UK who are so sick and tired of being embarrassed by underperforming Zambian men who readily complain about Nigerian men bagging Zambian ladies. What do they honestly expect the ladies to do? Settle for a measly bronze medal when they can have an undisputed gold one?? Come on!!, end of quote.
Wow! I find the above statement pretty bold considering the number of Zambian women in the UK. It is interesting how 21st century women crave independence and equal rights so fervently and yet so many more want to be defined by the kind of man they marry. Or could this just be Zambian women lagging in personal growth? Well, much Like Lady C in London, I was recently at a gathering in Boston, with a few women from different backgrounds. With this group, the consensus was financial independence, achieving goals and fulfilled lives regardless of whether or not a man happens along.
Then there was the International Women’s Day celebrated around the world. Of course my interest was how the day was marked in Zambia. Finally, I saw the pictures this mornign. I saw women dressed in political chitenge imprinted with President Sata and former President RB’s heads. Little girls dancing their hearts out in pouring rain as President Sata stood under a canopy while the women marched past dancing and waving. Wait a minute, I thought this was women’s day not government day! This is a day to ponder ending domestic violence, to abash sexual abuse and harassment, to lobby for more jobs and better pay for women. In other words women’s day is about empowerment not waving at President Sata! That aside, Zambia has had a long tradition of using little girls to entertain government officials, bringing them flowers at the airport, holding the scissors tray at commissioning ceremonies and so forth. The point is these little girls are growing up with the mentality that all a woman has to do is wear a pretty dress and serve men. Forget the grass, the roots are already poisoned.
And just yesterday, former Tourism minister Catherine Namugala was encouraging women to go in public ‘scantily dressed’ in protest of the MMD being deregistered as a political woman. Really? And you hope women to gain respect in this manner? What kind of air head reasoning is this? Personal note to Catherine: you just set Zambian women back 50 years and for you own personal gain! Women can be heard and respected fully clothed and you as a leader should be preaching this. Be the first one to undress and I hope you will be the only one. Exploitation of women by women, this is sad.
Honestly, I don’t want to go into another rant about how poorly women are treated in Zambia and what ought to be done about the situation. However, If I were the gender minister in Zambia, I would aim the next women’s day at women and girls with sensitization on self- sufficiency and self worthiness.
To Lady C, I hope you had an opportunity to tell your friends that it spells inferiority and ignorance in assuming every one foreign is more sophisticated as them alleging West African men are better than Zambian men.

About Theresa Lungu

Theresa Lungu is founder of Books for Zambia, Born and raised in Luanshya, Zambia, Theresa has seen and felt the acute need for enhanced early childhood education in Zambia. She started Books For Zambia in 2003 to save Luanshya Library from the verge of closure. A graduate of Boston College, she now lives in Massachusetts and works at Harvard University’s Center on the Developing Child. Theresa is also the author of ‘Twilight In The Morning’ and is looking to publish her second novel, 'Torment of an Angel' in the near future.

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