The goal of the EMPOWER: Increasing Economic and Social Empowerment for Adolescent Girls and Vulnerable Women in Zambia (EMPOWER: Zambia) project is to reduce the prevalence of child labor in targeted rural areas in eastern Zambia.
EMPOWER Zambia is to reduce child labor in Zambia’s Eastern Province through interventions that support four long-term outcomes:
- Increased access to acceptable work and nigh-quality training opportunities for adolescent girls of legal working age
- Increased livelihood opportunities for vulnerable women
- Increased public awareness on child labor and gender equality, and
- Increased government and private sector engagement and collaboration in the promotion of acceptable work for adolescent girls and vulnerable women
The PSAf component of the project is working towards the following outcomes
- Community awareness is raised concerning the rights of the child, the value of education, the adverse effects of child labor, and the differences between child labor and acceptable work.
- Traditional community leaders, adult males and boys, and teachers have increased understanding of gender equality, including the value of supporting women and adolescent girls to be economically empowered through acceptable work.
To fully explore and address cultural and economic challenges associated with child labor and education, EMPOWER’s outreach strategy is based on a cycle of community and radio interaction to continuously solicit and incorporate community feedback that informs future programming. This strategy is pinned on the following:
- Partnership with community radio stations: PSAf has signed MOUs with community radio stations in each target district. These radio stations will lead content production on issues of child labor, child rights, the differences between child labor and acceptable work, and the importance of gender equality.
- Radio Listening Clubs: The Radio Listening Clubs (RLCs) bring together community members to EMPOWER-specific radio programs and record their thoughts and opinions about the show. They will then return these recordings to the radio stations to be incorporated in future programming.
- In-person awareness-raising events: These include town hall gatherings, “under the tree” discussions, and small-group meetings that directly engage traditional leaders (including faith leaders), men, boys, and teachers to discuss and address cultural and economic challenges to gender equality and acceptable work for women. EMPOWER will also work with radio journalists to record these events and use the material to develop new programs.
EMPOWER Zambia is being implemented in the following districts in Eastern Province: Chadiza, Chipata, Katete, Lundazi and Petauke.
The project is funded by the United States Department of Labor, through a grant to Winrock International