The impact of Sikenge initation rite on women in Western province:A case study of Mongu District
Chama, Grace Mikombe
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In Zambia, women represent about 52 percent of the population, yet their inclusion in decision making, political and economic activities has always been limited. This is due to the negative stereotyping of female roles by society that has been made worse by some values taught through initiation ceremonies. This study was undertaken against a background where in most African countries,Zambia included, human development as it concerns gender equality is more rhetoric than in practice. The main objective of the study was to investigate the effects of the Lozi people's Sikenge initiation rite on women's behaviour. The study was conducted in Mongu district of Western Province of Zambia. Data were collected using qualitative methods. Primary data were collected through in-depth interviews and Focus Group Discussions. The in-depth-interviews involved interviewing 30 initiated women, 30 noninitiated women and 10 initiators. As a way of verifying the data collected through in depth interviews, Focus Group Discussions were also conducted. This involved two groups, one for the initiated women and the other one for the non-initiated women. Each focus group comprised of 8 members. Secondary data were collected through reading books from various libraries. The sample size of 70 was arrived at through Purposive and Snowball sampling method. The data were then analysed using SPSS (Statistical Package of Social Sciences) and through qualitative methods by means of Themes. The results were analysed and findings discussed. The results indicated that Sikenge has an influence on women's behaviour. Most women who go through the rite change their behaviour either negatively or positively. However, it was concluded that the rite should be continued but certain modifications should be made to enhance the rightful time and procedure of initiating the girls.