Thursday, December 3, 2015

Independence: Gender Equality (Part 2)

Read part 1 herePart 3 and Part 4

Malumbo Kalua Age 21 Form 4 
Here is Malumbo. She is a talented seamstress who has taken it on herself to train girls at school to make their own reusable menstrual pads. She is also teaching it with an income generating component so if they want to make and sell pads on their own they know where to start. Oh, and one more thing. She is writing me a business proposal so that on the school holidays she can have her own business. For about $5-10 she can have the start-up money she needs to get her own reusable pad business going!

Breaking the chains of financial dependency is a huge step to being independent. In Malawi it can be difficult for anyone to find a successful path that allows an individual to rely on themselves or employment for self sufficiency. For women it can be even more challenging. I have heard too many stories from women who feel they have no other option than to take money from another person, most times a well-to-do man or uncle. As you can imagine, this puts them in a vulnerable position. When it comes time for “repayment” many women feel they owe their benefactor some service. A service that can seem as innocent as cooking and cleaning to something as demeaning as sexual favors.
Teaching Form 1 girls how to make reusable menstrual pads. 

It can be so easy for a girl child who wants to pay for school fees to be taken advantage of.

I love that Malumbo wants to teach this skill to other girls. She doesn't see it as competition. She sees it as a way to empower more girls and to give everyone a better chance at life and to feel like a person.

She is one of my Sheroes. She will be a huge agent of change for this country!

Read part 1 herePart 3 and Part 4

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