Better for Women, Better for Everyone
As a result of a community-wide focus on gender disparity, family life for Titus and Tryness has greatly improved. They were among the first to take part in training sessions around gender-based violence and issues of access, control, power and decision-making in households and institutions.
Titus admits that, before he became aware of the pattern of male control and violence against women, he was one of its practitioners. Even though the whole family helps on the farm, he insisted on total control of the harvest money. He thought Tryness would misuse it. In fact, he physically abused her if he ever found she’d sold anything without his permission, even if she used the money to buy food and necessities for the entire household.
Titus and Tryness both say the training and awareness of the traditional injustices toward women have had a great impact on both their lives. The way they treat each other is much more respectful, with a positive effect on their relationship and trust in each other. They now work together and share responsibilities as a couple and as a family. Titus has stopped abusing Tryness.
When they harvest their crops, they make decisions together on how to use their produce. For instance, this year they saved enough of their harvest to feed the family for several months. They used some of what they earned from sales to buy clothes for the four children and support their education. Tryness, with Titus’s encouragement, has joined a Village Savings and Lending group and is learning ways to save money and increase their income. They plan to buy more inputs and diversify their crops.
Because the program has emphasized gender equity for several years, at least 75% of the population views gender-based violence as less acceptable than when a survey was done in 2021. Both men and women understand that it has negative effects on the perpetrators, women, the family, community and the nation, causing deaths, life-long injuries, jail sentences, broken homes and loss of income.
Titus is so pleased with the overall improvements not only in agriculture but in family happiness that he’s encouraging others to participate in the dialogue sessions.
Zambia Lundazi Program
Led by Word Renew and Local Partner Central Church of Africa Presbyterian, Zambia (CCAP)