By Jessica Mwansa in Luapula
Bwalya Mponda Secondary School grounds in Lunga district of Luapula province was a hive of activity yesterday as rural women in the area came together to commemorate the International Women’s Day in style.
Lunga District is predominantly rural island on the Lake Bangweulu and in close proximity to the Luapula River and the locals are predominantly subsistence farmers who ply their agriculture practices on cassava and rice farming as well as fishing.
With no demarcated road networks in the area, the locals have adapted to using canoes to sail through from one island to another using man made water channels that connect to the larger Lake Bangweulu all the way to Samfya District.
And in commemorating the day, the women from all the 10 wards of the constituency did not shy away from expressing themselves through sketches, songs, and dances, in expressing some of the abuses that they undergo in their homes at the hands of their partners.
They said enough is enough and there is a need for their husbands to treat them as equal partners in the interest of national development.
And Machishi Tembo, the women’s representative at the event urged the men who had come to support the women to stop beating their wives as a way of disciplining them.
“You need to stop abusing us as women in our homes because that is not the best way of letting out discipline in the homes. We are equals,” she said.
Mrs Tembo also expressed gratitude to area Member of Parliament Chanda Katotobwe for appreciating women’s efforts through the organization of the annual event.
And in a speech read on his behalf by Nchete Ward Councillor Joshua Chanda, Luapula Member of Parliament Chanda Katotobwe encouraged the women to continue being innovative in their enterprises.
He said this year’s theme is timely and encouraged the women to continue being innovative as they venture into agriculture and other productive means.
Mr. Katotobwe noted that being a rural constituency, women in the area do not have access to advanced technologies but they have shown the zeal to develop through innovation.