WOMEN’S DAY CELEBRATION SPEECH
BY Prof Hellicy C. Ng’ambi
Vice Chancellor, Mulungushi University
@Godfrey Chitalu Stadium Kabwe – 8th March, 2017
The Provincial Minister
The Minister of Community Development
The Permanent Secretary
The Judge in charge
The Deputy Permanent Secretary
His Worship the Mayor
Members of PTOC
Provincial Heads Government Departments
Organising women’s committee chairperson, Chairperson of NGOCC
The Representative of YWCA
Representatives of Media Houses
All women Present
All protocol observed
Title: Women as assets for sustainable development
Theme: Promoting inclusiveness in Economic participation as a means of attaining sustainable development
The guest of honour Sir, I am humbled to have the privilege of giving this speech, representing the largest portion of the Zambian population, the women who constitute about 52%. Guest of honour Sir, distinguished guests, if we are serious about sustainable development, then we have to invest in educating, developing and including women in all spheres of our developmental agendas!
Although women play a very important role in development, their status, especially in African countries does not reflect their contributions. Therefore, enhancing their status would not only go a long way towards overcoming population and food production problems but would also help boost economic growth and development! (Anunobi, 2003).
The key to enhancing women’s status is to ensure that they have greater influence in social, economic and political affairs. Women are crucial to the success of family planning programmes; bear much of the responsibility for food production and account for an increasing share of wage labour in Zambia and Africa as a whole (Anunobi, 2003). All these factors have a direct bearing on sustainable development.
The guest of honour Sir, Education and development, Starts with the mother who in all circumstances is the first contact person. The Do’s and Don’ts of life come from the mother! Education is about navigating and negotiating the roots in life.
It starts with what we eat, whom to trust. The aspect of identity comes from the mother. The disciplinarian and beginning of law enforcement is the mother.
Sustainable development, can only succeed once the foundation, which starts with a woman at home is established. Even in terms learning, the tongue, mother tongue, is the most effective for each person. To marginalise a woman in economic participation is to marginalise the fundamentals of development and we would self-destruct as a nation. As the saying goes, if you educate and develop a man you educate and develop an individual. But if you educate and develop a woman you educate and develop a nation!
Research among Fortune 500 companies found a strong correlation between the number of women in top executive positions and profitability” (Business Day, August 8, 2005). It has been found in many studies that there are Qualities that distinguish women leaders (Greenberg & Sweeney, 2005) and enable them to contribute to development. Women:-
• Have a distinctive Persuasive Style
• Have an extra-ordinary ability to rebound and learn from setbacks
• Use Inclusive, team-oriented approach
• Have a willingness to take risks
• Bring distinct personality & motivational strengths to leadership – and do so in a style that is more conducive to today’s diverse workplace.
Guest of honour Sir, distinguished guests, Studies show that Women’s Strengths Match New Economy Imperatives.
According to Tom Peters (2003), women were born to Lead! New Studies find that female managers outshine their male counterparts in almost every measure” (Title, Special Report, Business Week, 11.20.00).
“On average, women and men possess a number of different innate skills. And current trends suggest that many sectors of the twenty-first-century economic community are going to need the natural talents of women” (Helen Fisher).
Guest of honour Sir, how can anyone think they can attain sustainable development if one of the major assets, the woman is left out of economic participation? It not just a nice thing to do, but a strategic economic imperative to include women in economic activities if we are to achieve sustainable development. So far Zambia is on the right track.
Guest of Honour Sir, allow me to directly address the VIPs, the esteemed important asset of our nation the woman. Woman of Zambia,
you have to understand and accept yourself, you have to define yourself, you have to affirm yourself’ you have to direct yourself and then, enter in solidarity and partnership with men as an equal partner in the development of our beloved country, Zambia. You are an important asset in the sustainable development agenda on our country.
History tells us of the power endowed in a woman:
In the biblical account of the creation of man, God subsequently drew the woman out of the being living behind the man. This implies that the full potential of God’s creation is only fulfilled when the man and the woman complement each other in their life endeavours at every level.
If we look at Adam and Eve and the fall of man, we see how the “snake” knew God s’ power in a woman and that once it convinces the woman, man will crumble at the persuasion of the woman and so it happened.
Woman, is said to be a help-mate” to the man, without any negative connotation. Help-mate does not imply inequality or inferiority. It just means that they are different beings who need to complement each other. In fact, the implication is that, if man acts alone he would be in trouble and fail. Only someone who is in trouble needs help. Help is usually sought from an expert, in this case, a woman: the solution provider.
God gave the woman POWER OF PERSUATION which is an important asset in negotiations both at organisation and national level:
Samson’s downfall was because he could not resist a woman and had to tell his secret to the woman.
On the birth of Jesus, the Angel Gabriel first appeared to Mary, there-after Joseph was no trouble to convince.
On Jesus’ resurrection, He knew that if He appears to the woman first, the good news will travel fast because of woman’s power of connectivity.
Thus neither man nor woman, can afford to ignore the role of the woman in the success of the organisation, country, continent and the world as a whole!
Distinguished ladies you are not an extension of other people’s opinions. God made you exactly, precisely, and uniquely the way you are to compliment men and to be included as an equal partner in attaining sustainable development. I know you have gone through challenges and you will still go through challenges but shake them off step on them and move forward. Be what my Mulungushi family and I live by, be RARE (Responsible, Accountable, Relevant and Ethical) indeed at all times.
Happy women’s day and God bless you indeed.
I thank you.