Tag Archives: africanfeminism

#WomensMarchLusaka2020

9 Jan

IMG_9775

My three passions in life are Womxn, Africa, and the arts.
On a recent visit to Lusaka, Zambia I met up with one of the countries warriors, Anita Kay Holland a.ka. The Feminist Witch. I had been following her on social media for a few years as we first crossed paths after she asked me to be a curator on her feminist platform.
Whenever I travel to an African country, it is my mandate to meet at least one feminist and see how we could assist each other through lucrative synergies with the hope of creating awareness on our feminism, activism, and work. Anita is one of the organisers of the Women’s March that will be held in Lusaka on 18 January 2020.

PHOTO-2020-01-02-16-08-05.jpg

Background.
The Women’s March is a worldwide Feminist March. It is a womxn-led movement providing intersectional education on a diverse range of issues and creating entry points for new grassroots activists & organizers to engage in their local communities through training, outreach programs, and events. The Women’s March is committed to dismantling systems of oppression through nonviolent resistance and building inclusive structures guided by self-determination, dignity, and respect.

The 2020 March.
Everyone will be marching under the key statement “no womxn left behind” various forms of discrimination leave different womxn behind and so the march aims to have a position for any womxn who feels discriminated to bring out what they are marching for. However, for the march to be successful, it needs core objective and it is for this purpose the main goals this year are to address:

1. Ending period poverty:
This will be done by petitioning parliament for tax-free pads.
The plan is to petition for tax-free pads to ensure that people who have menstrual cycles don’t have to feel the burden for buying expensive pads and that a period shouldn’t hinder them from reaching their full potential

2. Rape and Rape Culture:
In a recent article, the First Lady of this country made very
disheartening remarks regarding rape. She stated that women’s clothing is to blame for how they are raped. This idea has been an old favorite​ in Zambian culture and the ripple effect is, it has gone into our police system since culturally we have been conditioned to believe that one’s style of dress is the main contributing factor of rape.
This idea takes the blame away from the rapist who should be taught not to rape in the first place and pushes it on the victim while the rapist gets coddled by society because “it’s not his fault she made him do it with her clothes” The march will educate people with strategic posters and women dressed in strategic clothing such as miniskirts to show that our dress code is not a reason for rape.

3. Inclusive Education:
Zambia is a country that uses its identification as a Christian nation to normalize and put out a lot of bigotry and hate speech. Many groups are freely discriminated against and are made to feel afraid for their lives every single day. The LGBTQI have for years been discriminated against in this country and many people from the international community at large have seen how rife the hate for these specific groups. There is a need for the whole country to also call out the homophobic, transphobic and the whole blanket of discrimination based on gender or sexual orientation. The march will provide a platform for this by allowing members of the LGBTQI and allies of the community to march in solidarity. Knowing the nature and sensitivity of this country and in a bid to provide safety for the LGBTQI marchers, posters will have enigmatic messages for example just the words “pride” or the signature rainbow flag.

4. Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights:
For many years the reproductive health right of womxn, Gender non-conforming persons, Trans Men and the Intersex community have been sidelined. Issues such as fibroids, cysts, endometriosis,
dysmenorrhea, Breast cancer, and cervical cancer are all issues that are not paid attention to. On the sexual health rights side, the Zambia healthcare system has a law that states only women above 25 must be allowed to have contraception, if they are younger, they must be married. Although there are claims that this was abolished, it still happens. Many younger people are made to feel guilty and are bullied by medical care officials for going to seek sexual health rights instead of making sure they are safe. This deters young people from accessing these rights and hikes up the disease and pregnancy rates amongst young people. This year’s march will highlight sexual and reproductive health rights and make sure discrimination and ageism in the medical field stops. Discrimination also falls into the issues of unwanted pregnancies and abortions. Women should be given the right to choose and therefore it must be free and safe for them to have an abortion regardless of their reason.

5. Health Care for all:
Healthcare isn’t easily accessible. Medication for conditions like breast cancer usually runs out and can be quite costly. The key
theme is no womxn left behind and so healthcare discrimination will be tackled to ensure that womxn in hard to reach areas and vulnerable groups of womxn can have access to healthcare. It should be our aim to ensure that healthcare products don’t run out.
PHOTO-2020-01-03-19-44-26-1

6. Sex Worker’s Rights:
Sex work has been around for centuries. It is not a recent development but in Zambia, it continues to be treated as a taboo. Therefore, sex
workers are usually subject to discrimination at healthcare facilities, their safety isn’t protected if they are beaten, raped or assaulted because of their line of work, they aren’t able to afford and aren’t given adequate access to condoms and contraception and so they are at risk of sexually transmitted diseases and infections such as HIV/
AIDS and they are also at risk of pregnancy. This year’s march will call for the protection of sex workers and will ensure that their rights to healthcare, safety, and protection are highlighted.

7. Disabled Womxn:
Disability is a topic that is not always spoken about and is surrounded by heavy discrimination and stigma. Many buildings and facilities aren’t accessible to disabled persons and that hinders them from doing a lot of things like getting an education, a job or even doing their grocery shopping by themselves. Our ministry of health also doesn’t make sure that disabled persons are provided with aids for their disabilities like wheelchairs, hearing aids and so on. Sign
language is rarely taught in school curriculums and as a result, disabled persons aren’t able to have what is needed for them to live a quality life and reach their full potential.
This year’s march will highlight the discrimination disabled persons are subject to and will make sure they represented at the march.

307bd4f0-c52c-4557-b209-d2a271588906
In solidarity.

To stand in solidarity with our warriors, let us create awareness as well as the issue that they face n their country.

The Twitter handles:
@DonCorleAnn
@Sistahsistahfo1

For more information on sponsors, volunteering or media inquiries, please contact annkay1@gmail.com

-End