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Betty (L) & Esther (R) are learners of Mitukutuku literacy centre who have learnt how to read and write in their local language and now participate in decision making at their Church. Esther has since been appointed chairperson for women affairs. She was the first woman in her Church who could read and write. These are from a Pentecostal Church. (Picture by Catherine Chabinga)

Zambia Episcopal Conference’s Women In Government (WIG) programme has successfully helped in reducing illiteracy among women and this has enabled them take up positions of leadership in church executive.

With the support of the Joint Country Programme (JCP) through the Norwegian Church AID, Women In Government is a programme that empowers women take up leadership positions in church structures. It is being implemented in Livingstone, Chipata, Monze, Mongu and Solwezi Dioceses.
It trains women in leadership skills and take them up in literacy classes.
WIG Assistant Programme Officer at ZEC Ms. Catherine Chabinga has disclosed that the programme has recorded many successes since it started in 2012.
“Since the start of the programme in the 5 Dioceses we are working, we have seen women take up leadership positions. Like in one parish in Solwezi Diocese, one Parish had had no female executive member for over 70 years, but after the women were empowered, a woman has become a parish chairperson” Ms. Chabinga said.
“ We are also seeing that women from other churches after learning how to read and write through this programme being given positions of leadership” She added.
And Ms. Chabinga has also disclosed that WIG is sensitising both women and men on the dangers of Gender Based Violence (GBV).
She said that this has seen improved communication between spouses hence reducing GBV.
“ We have seen men and women get to understand each other. Reduce on alcohol consumption and improve communication after sensitising them on the dangers of GBV. This programme is really working well”.
She said this with reported increased GBV cases inn Zambia.
Recently the Zambia Police Service announced that an increase of 7.7% in Gender Based Violence cases in the first quarter of 2016.

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