Updated: Mar 10, 2022
International Women's Day is a chance for everyone to celebrate women but we have to accomplish much more understanding.
International Women's Day means celebrating women's achievement and our contributions to national development. Today in Lusaka thousands of women took to the street as one long train, singing praises. We're celebrating women in leading roles as role models for other women who want to follow in such footsteps.
International Women's Day, Lusaka, Zambia, 2022
Younger women, like me, understand the progress that International Women's Day represents, even if I do not feel it myself sometimes. But, growing up, there was no International Women's Day for my mother, and there still is not for many women I know, especially in the rural areas. I think it is important to remember that there are many women still who do not have opportunities that many of us take for granted, like access to education, jobs, a decent living, and to a marriage of choice. Even here in Zambia young women think they are second-class citizens and it is hard to think otherwise because of the ways we are brought up. We cannot forget that many women have never heard the words 'gender equality'. Many women's reality is they are just there to make and raise children, and take whatever life throws their way. My mother is such a one. Women play important roles in raising children and in what those children grow up to believe in. That is why it is important today to remember our sisters around the world who need our support to find their voices. Dowry where I come from is standard practice. It says women are property first, which is part of the cycle of disrespect, inequality and even domestic abuse. Women must believe in themselves if they are to raise sons and daughters who also believe it. Then we can sing as one.