Calls to Make International Women’s Day Meaningful to Women and Girls in Zambia

Calls to Make International Women’s Day Meaningful to Women and Girls in Zambia

In Zambia the International Women’s Day (IWD) is a national public holiday. It was preceded by a week-long of welfare oriented activism by government departments, corporates and civil society organizations., culminating into collective celebratory social marches in all provincial towns/cities across the nation under the theme “Gender Agenda: Gaining Momentum”.

Of course, the vetaran senior activists watched from stands with reminisce smiles!

However, the draw back were rhetorical speeches by both women and male leaders. So that their audiences rightly paid no attention to the speeches and they demonstrably continued to take advantage of the opportunity to network. In Lusaka the climax was a group of women marchers that presented a petition to the Vice President (Mr. Guy Scott), demanding the return of their grabbed land for so called investment by rolling on the ground in a Zambian tradition.

Evidently there is need to re-conceptualize and re-structure the form of celebrating IWD that is meaningful to the majority of the impoverished women and girls.

Aluta continua!

Sara Longwe



FEMNET (The African Women's Development and Communication Network) is a pan African, feminist organisation working to advance the rights of women and girls in Africa. FEMNET has carved a niche in Informing and mobilizing African women in order for them to participate and influence policies and processes that affect their lives. FEMNET has hundreds of members in over 40 countries in Africa as well as in the diaspora. It has played a critical role in building the women's movement in Africa since inception in 1988.

One response »

  1. Dear Sarah,

    Thank you for this article that challenges us to do beyong ‘scratching the surface’in our interventions and come up with more meaningful strategies that will transform the lives of poor women and girls. It is interesting to note that the IWD is actually a national public hoiliday in Zambia! I have not done a survey on this, but this is the first time country I know to do this an it is a step that other countries should follow suit. Actually women deserve this and even more. Happy IWD in arreas.


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