In this blog post, our first-year student Mirriam expresses her heartfelt appreciation to all mothers and women.

To all the amazing mothers who should be honored daily, I want to express appreciation and love for everything you do on this auspicious day! You are pillars of strength, and sources of encouragement, real beacons of guidance that never let go from the day we are born. Happy Mother’s Day! 

I want to talk about how important it is for women to balance work, family obligations and how they have defied societal norms and expectations. I am in awe of you and respect all the duties you perform as workers, mothers, and vessels of support for people in our communities.

Typically, in communities like mine, women are expected to be mere caregivers and workers of the household. They are assigned difficult roles that seem simple, such as baring and nurturing children, providing emotional support and being homemakers. But women over the year have proven to be more than that, they have broken barriers and are now successful not only in their households but their professional life too. The financial strains in their families, as I’ve observed in my community, motivate mothers to start up small businesses to provide for their families. Therefore breaking the misconception that they can’t be providers. They prove that they can handle both work and their households.

To seal my point clear, I have witnessed firsthand the relentless effort mothers put in for the well-being of their family and the community at large. They rise early to place orders for vegetables and fruits at the market daily, till late-night. Despite having to sell vegetables and fruits to meet ends meet, they still play their pivotal role in looking after the entire family.

Furthermore, women in rural areas are confronted with a lot of challenges and difficulties which hinder their role as mothers. They face challenges such as limited health care, unemployment and education, even though that may vary from household to household. Lack of primary or secondary education forces most of them to become laborers of the soil by producing and selling fruits, maize and vegetables. The shackles of poverty lead most of the mothers towards becoming street vendors to put food on the table.

They also earn an income by picking cotton, weeding or even harvesting crops such as maize ground nuts and soybeans. I have witnessed about two thirds of the mothers in my community having to walk a distance of ten kilometers to fetch water daily. In the morning around six o’clock, they had to attend to their crops and then do the household chores afterwards. My own mother who grew up in this setting, always had to wake up before it dawned to fetch water, wash clothes, then later walk to the farm to attend to the crops. She cared tirelessly for my siblings and I, she ensured that we all got a good education and never lacked anything. 

Growing up in Eastern Province, Chipata, I have witnessed the difficulties that mothers encounter. For example, there was once a community project to build a local school. Women had to fetch water and do the molding of the bricks despite them already doing household chores and preparing their children for school.

In urban areas, mothers have even more challenges as compared to the rural areas of Zambia. The high cost of living in the city and the increase in unemployment rates have been the major factors affecting them. In addition to the fast-paced life in the city itself, they have to juggle work, family responsibilities, and the many expectations society has placed on them. Many are times when mothers have to sacrifice their own dreams, aspirations and passions for the sake of their family and its well-being. 

Despite the roles that they play, both women and mothers have to face societal pressure, gender inequality as well as discrimination. Numerous as the hurdles are, they are expected to conform to the gender roles; they have to be submissive and mere homemakers. A prime example is my aunt who sacrificed her dream to become a public health practitioner just to take care of her children and family. 

In spite of all the challenges and difficulties, mothers have proven to be resilient in the face of these adversities. Over the past years, they have broken through from the shackles of societal norms and expectations.

The first female Vice President of Zambia, Inonge Wina and most of the mothers in my community have shown that mothers can excel in both their personal and professional lives. They are a shining example of how mothers can break through societal barriers and achieve noticeable success while still being loving and devoted mothers.

The women and mothers in my community truly reflect the true image of fortitude, perseverance, and boundless affection synonymous with motherhood, thus stressing the need for us all as individuals to continuously value, respect and uphold their remarkable daily contributions. Their dedication to the country and their families serves as a powerful reminder of the vital role mothers play in constructing a bright future for all. 

Once more, from the bottom of my heart, I would like to show my deepest gratitude for being surrounded by mothers and women who breed peace, love and harmony. I am grateful to my mother who stood by me through thick and thin, raised me to be a morally upright person and showered me with all the love and affection I needed. To all the mothers in the world – past, present and future – I wish you a Happy Mother’s Day filled with love and happiness.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *