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      The women's lobby and gender relations in Zambia

      Review of African Political Economy
      Review of African Political Economy


            The Women's Lobby is one of a number of initiatives which have emerged from within Zambia's civil society in recent years as part of the pluralist momentum toward democratisation and the advance of human rights. Its voice alongside that of the churches, the Law Society and the independent press has advanced pressure for a return to a multi‐party system. It has used the space created to open up a dialogue toward fuller consideration of gender issues.

            It has also been characteristic of the Zambian experience that the flurry of public debate has primarily involved the more articulate and more privileged members of society. There is obvious intent to mobilise the entire population but the dialogue has beenfostered by the relatively affluent, a pattern no less true of the Women's Lobby than other bodies involved in the public debate. The process has revealed tensions and conflicts at various levels, following in some cases from a reluctance to submit liberal demands to comprehensive analysis and to extend critiques of former practice to their logical conclusions.

            An examination Of the Women's Lobby reveals some of these dynamics. It has raised gender issues as items for inclusion on the political agenda, and for this alone it represents a significant development.

            But that positive contribution is no reason it should not be subjected to critical appraisal. The exercise highlights its achievements but also notes contradictions flowing from the unwillingness of its members to acknowledge fully the ‘politics’ implicit in its very existence.


            Author and article information

            Review of African Political Economy
            Review of African Political Economy
            March 1993
            : 20
            : 56
            : 79-83
            a Head of the Department of Development Studies , University of Zambia in Lusaka
            8703987 Review of African Political Economy, Vol. 20, No. 56, March 1993, pp. 79-83

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            Page count
            Figures: 0, Tables: 0, References: 6, Pages: 5

            Sociology,Economic development,Political science,Labor & Demographic economics,Political economics,Africa

            Bibliographic Note

            1. Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP). . 1992. . Civil Society and Consolidation of Democracy in Zambia. In: . Workshop proceedings, resolutions and recommendations; . February 26–28– 1992 ; , Siavonga , Zambia.

            2. Harrison L. and chairperson, Women's National Lobby Group. . 1992. . ‘Report to the 1st Annual General Meeting’; . Sept‐Oct. 1992 ; , Lusaka , Zambia.

            3. Mulumo R. . ‘Annual Report to the 1st Annual General Meeting’; . WNLG. .

            4. Mulumo R. . ‘Women's Lobbying and Advocacy across Party‐lines, the Zambian Experience’. In: . paper presented to the ANC's Women's Seminar; . Johannesburg .

            5. National Women's Lobby Group. . 1992. . “‘Constitution’. ”.

            6. Randall V. . 1982. . Women and Politics . , Macmillan Press. .


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