Women and mass mobilization in Nationalist politics in colonial Zambia 1951-1964 : The case of Lusaka
Manda, Irene M. C
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This study is concerned with an examination of the role of women in mass mobilization in Zambian nationalist politics during the period 1951 to 1964. Concentration has been on Lusaka as the case study. The study begins with an analysis of the historical background to the status of Zambian women. It is argued that the subordinate status accorded to women in Zambia is a social and cultural phenomenon. This can be traced back to the pre-colonial period when women were exposed to social orientation and education which was different from that for men. The subordinate status of women was further exacerbated during the colonial period when women were denied equal access to most spheres of life including education and employment.The second chapter concentrates on the emergence and development of the nationalist movement by focusing on the activities of the African National Congress in its campaign against the imposed Federation. It is argued that women played a significant role in this campaign.They helped in the mobilization of the masses and in the raising of funds. They were also later mobilized for participation in boycotts and demonstrations which were aimed at helping to improve the welfare of Africans.The third chapter involves an examination of the role which women played in nationalist politics after 1958. It is argued that they played influential and instrumental roles, especially in the formation and development of new parties, which helped in bringing together various small parties to form the United National Independence Party. This co-existed with the African National Congress. After 1960 women were mobilized for participation in political boycotts and demonstrations which helped influence the decisions of the colonial administrators who visited the country. They were also involved in less conspicuous activities which helped to ensure the success of the political parties. Chapter four examines the aftermath of the independence struggle. An analysis of the status of women after independence is made. It is argued that women did not make headway in Zambian politics and there was little improvement in their status. This was because those women who had been involved in the nationalist movement, and who continued their involvement after independence, tended to be conservative. They did not advocate for women's rights.