By Violet Maluwa- Tfm reporter
As one way of taking an active role in defending their rights, women from Nthalire invited traditional and community leaders to an interface meeting to demand their right of access to development assets.
This comes against the background that although government and other stakeholders are committed to empower women in various sectors, oppression of women in developmental activities continues.
During the interface meeting, women presented a petition to leaders outlining their grievances for the traditional and community leaders to address. Some of these problems include limited access to land, negative cultural beliefs which put women secondary to men and being denied freedom to engage in economic activities such as businesses.
Speaking in an interview, one of the women who presented the letter, Emily Ng’ambi said some traditional leaders take part in oppressing women in various ways.
“We thought of calling for these discussions because we know that chiefs ought to defend us each time we are subjected to such oppression. Unfortunately they seem not to mind. We are being oppressed every day and traditional leaders do not hear our cry,” lamented Emily Ng’ambi.
She added that with they are optimistic that what they have presented has awakened their traditional leaders from their slumber and that they will act on their concerns.
Meanwhile Senior Group Village Headman Chimatulo has committed himself to ensure that women are given freedom to participate in all spheres of life. He has since urged other traditional leaders to make sure that women are treated with dignity that befits every human being.
Similar meetings targeting various leaders have been held in Chisenga, Wenya, and Thumbo. Justice and Peace Desk through the Community Managed Women’s Rights Advocacy Project is empowering women to demand. The project is supported by Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD).