~ Zambian Women Have Their Say

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The majority of the Zambian population who live off of less than a dollar a day are women. Through the Mama Sosa project, 30 Zambian women were trained in how to use media to shed light on their everyday challenges.

Mama Sosa means “Woman speak!” in the local Bemba dialect. The main share of the Zambian population who live off of less than 1 dollar a day are women. This makes them the largest marginalised group in the country. And their situation is even worse in the slums of Lusaka, home to 80% of the capital’s population. Here, women not only have to deal with poverty, but are also exposed to crime and prostitution-related violence on a daily basis.

The local media barely pay attention to these issues. According to Free Press Unlimited’s Programme Coordinator Nada Josimovic, women in Zambia are seen as second-rate citizens. As a consequence, they hardly have any opportunities to have their say: “If the media pay attention to women at all, they are usually treated in a very stereotypical manner.”

In the small-scale pilot project Mama Sosa, Free Press Unlimited worked together with the Zambian youth organisation House of Consciousness (HOC) to improve women’s situation in the capital. Nada Josimovic enthusiastically tells us about the project’s unexpected success.

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