HARRIENT Beecher Stowe, an American abolitionist and author, who lived in the 19th century once said: Women are the real architects of society.With today’s resounding talk about empowering women, her words were true.
Over the past years women in many countries, were not provided with the privilege of being trained in an income-producing field or the opportunity to work and earn wages independently.
As times changed, with gender activists coming on board, it has been expressed that working towards gender equality and women’s empowerment, particularly in developing countries is a key pathway to achieving sustainable development.
Various organisations have established networks in different countries including Zambia to work and develop skills that will allow women to find their way out of poverty.
Through these initiatives women have been given the opportunity to develop a sense of independence and a respected voice within their communities while some with the needed assistance have gone on to establish their own businesses in their respective areas.
These changes that have grown with the dawn of civilization reflect a shift in society’s thinking.
In the past African cultural settings, education for the girl child was almost taboo and if a girl went to school, the best and highest level she could reach was primary or junior level but old teaching has it that, the only and better institution a girl could be prepared for, was marriage because this attracted a bridal price.
However, the beginning of the 20th century brought about a series of changes in the status of women especially in the developed world.
Times have changed and society has as well. Education is for all and there is a shared concern that focus should be prioritised towards girl-child education as a way of empowerment and place them as key contributors to national growth.
Arising from this school of thought is the adage – if you educate the girl-child, you educate a nation.
Credence ought to be given to the various parties that have changed the approach to matters relating to women empowerment or objectives to ensure they also contribute to national development, both locally or globally.
For any country to experience development, this role should encompass all citizens, the young, the old, men and women.
It was also underpinned by Vice President Inonge Wina, who shared her opinion as a leader and particularly as the country’s first female to occupy the office she is in, that empowering girls with education is a vital path for them to take their roles as drivers of economic growth.
Ms Wina thanked partners such as the Rotary International Club for investing time and other line resources to equip girls with training in science and mathematics which are key subjects in a learning
Otherwise generally, economic participation of all citizens regardless their sex, religion or creed goes beyond any boundaries meaning Zambia like any other, screams for the efforts of its entire population to take up their roles to guarantee national growth.
Ms Wina underscored the need for the Rotary organisation to engage more girls in science and mathematics training programmes and aid the country’s growth agenda to move forward and at a faster pace.
For a country to truly progress, each sector of the community should be empowered so that they can solve their problem on the grassroots and they can find ways to improve their status.
In this case the country will not fully progress if the women in the community are limited by any gender constraints in the field of economic power.
Once women have gained the economic power through the support of the rest of the community it is possible for them to be a part of national building and not just being mere dependents of their male ties.
A strong nation is built by economically empowered individuals not limited to the men but is shared to the women population as well.