Mama Kankasa was an inspiration – NGOCC

The Non-Governmental Gender Organisations’ Coordinating Council says the death of Mama Chibesa Kankasa should be a reminder on the need for equal participation of both women and men in leadership.

And the Panos Institute Southern Africa have said Mama Kankasa remained committed to uplifting the lives of the less privileged, including young children with whom she used to spend a lot of time at her school in Kabulonga.

NGOCC chairperson Sara Longwe stated the council had learnt with a sense of deep shock the death of Mama Kankasa in a Johannesburg hospital on Monday.

Longwe said as a way to honour Mama Kankasa, the government should ensure that they put in place measures that would guarantee the 50 – 50 participation of both women and men in decision making positions.

She said Mama Kankasa’s death had robbed Zambia of yet another gallant woman and independence hero.

“As a women’s movement we have lost an icon that was an inspiration to the young women. Mama Kankasa and other women that participated in the freedom struggle are an epitome of what women’s resilience and courageous leadership can achieve if accorded the opportunity. At a time Zambia is grappling with low numbers of women in decision making, the death of such an icon should be a reminder on the need for equal participation of both women and men in leadership,” stated Longwe. “It is also a time to recognise that the struggle for women’s emancipation from vulnerability and exclusion is real and requires collective effort.”

And Panos executive director Lilian Saka Kiefer said Mama Kankasa was a trailblazer, who was committed to the emancipation of the poor and marginalised.

“The board, management and staff members of Panos Institute Southern Africa have learnt with great sadness of the passing on of Mama Chibesakunda Kankasa, a veteran Zambian nationalist. Her wisdom and commitment to the development of Zambia was unmatched,” she said.

“As Panos Institute Southern Africa, we were greatly honoured to have worked with her in a number of our projects, the most recent being the Zambia Elections Information Centre where she served as a member of the Council of Elders. During the time we worked with her, Mama Kankasa was always available for our young team members to tap into her vast wealth of knowledge.”

Kiefer said the passing on of Mama Kankasa was a great loss not only to her family, but to the entire Zambian nation.

“Our prayers are with her family, and the entire nation of Zambia during this difficult time. May her dear soul rest in eternal peace,” said Kiefer.

Source: The Mast

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