Ahead of Y Care International’s Zambia appeal, we share the key facts about the country to let you know why our work here is necessary and in need of your support.
Republic of Zambia
Population 16.5 million
Area 752,614 sq km (290,586 sq miles)
Major languages English (official), Bemba, Lozi, Nyanja, Tonga
Major religions Christianity, indigenous beliefs, Hinduism, Islam
Life expectancy 59 years (men), 64 years (women)
Facts & figures courtesy of UN, World Bank
Zambia also has one of the world’s fastest growing populations with the UN projecting that its population will triple by 2050.
But economic growth and massive Chinese investment have failed to improve the lives of most Zambians, with two-thirds still living in poverty. The Human development rank of the country is 139 of 188 countries (UNDP 2016). The 2015 Zambia living conditions monitoring survey has revealed that 40.8% of the country’s population is living in extreme poverty.
Gender Equality and Women’s Rights
Although poverty levels affect both men and women, women are more vulnerable (World Bank 2015 and Central Statistical Office 2013). The 2013/2014 Zambia Demographic and Health Survey revealed that 47% of women aged 15-49 have experienced physical, sexual and emotional violence since age 15. 65% of perpetrators of physical violence among married women were current husbands or partners.
Reports from the Zambian Victim Support unit also show an increase in reported cases with 18,088, 18,540 and 21,504 GBV cases reported in 2015, 2016 and 2017 respectively.
This paints a rather bleak picture and is exactly why Y Care International saw the need for the project entitled Safe Spaces – Safe and Empowered Women and Girls in Communities. Working closely with the local YWCA, Y Care International have been creating Safe Spaces in Zambia that tackle the problems of gender-based violence head-on.
In Zambian villages, there is a space where traditionally the younger generation gather and listen to the lessons of their elders. The YWCA has taken this idea and brought it into slums like the George compound in the capital city, Lusaka. These are places where young women can come learn about what gender-based violence is, why it is against the law, and what they can do tackle it – such as report any case of abuse to one of our mobile legal clinics.