Zambian Women Seeking Basic Literacy and Better Jobs, Return to School

Global Press Journal

For working women who struggle to make ends meet, literacy is life changing.

Women in Zambia begin to return to schools in larger numbers than before to learn to read and write.

Only about 10 percent of Zambian women, between the ages of 15-49 have completed secondary schools says the Zambia Demographic and Health Survey of 2013-2014. Although experts have been saying that more women now are returning to schools, it is hard to know exactly how many are because data isn’t compiled from all the involved organizations.

What the Zambia’s National Gender Policy is doing now, aside from demanding equal participation of women and men at all levels of national development, is to review the national education and skills training policy to make sure there are female staff members at every training institution to act as role models and for girls and women.

The important part of this entire process is the idea that “women, who value education, would begin to support their own daughter’s education” says Costern Kancele, the director of administration at the forum for African Women Educationalists.

Within this organization, they run a program called Back-to-Back, which motivates women to learn how to read and write. Girls are encouraged to teach their mothers how to read and write while mothers are teaching their daughters home skills.  

Through policy change, women support and financial assistance, women in Zambia have a greater opportunity to graduate from school and envision for themselves a brighter future, not only for themselves but for their very own daughters.