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May 9, 2021 – Minute for Ministry - Women for Change

Heavy water drums. Scorching sun. Poor sanitation. Assault. Not being able to attend school. These are some of the issues faced by women and girls in charge of collecting water in Zambia and around the world.

And it’s one of many women’s issues that our Mission & Service partner Women for Change is addressing in Zambia. Zambia has one of the highest levels of poverty and inequality globally, with 16.6 million people earning less than $1.90 per day. Three-quarters of the poor live in rural areas, where women are the
hardest hit. Gender discrimination prevents them from accessing land, education, healthcare, and jobs and puts them at higher risk of discrimination and violence.

“Women for Change” works with local communities and each one determines their own needs. In one community, accessing safe water is a problem. So “Women for Change” is drilling wells. In another area, there is a lack of women’s leadership. So the organization is training women to become political leaders.

In Zambia, girls struggle to be able to attend school. Traditional attitudes, poverty, early marriages, and priorities to educate boys mean that too many girls have to drop out. In 2018, the national United Church Women decided to do something about it. Through “Women for Change,” Canadian church women are
actively supporting an education program helping Zambian girls to stay in school.

This Mother’s Day let us remember women and girls around the world and the need to support them through education, health clinics, and safe shelters.

Our congregation gives a designated amount of our annual offerings to the Mission and Service Fund of the United Church. So part of every dollar that you give helps to sustain the M&S Fund as it supports projects such as “Women for Change” helping to empower women and girls in rural areas across Zambia