Gender Equality Project of TEE Zambia
Read the most recent update here.
Founded in 1979, Theological Education by Extension in Zambia (TEEZ) is an ecumenical program of nine churches aimed at providing extension-based theological training to church leaders and lay members in order “to prepare all God’s people for the work of Christian service” (Ephesians 4:12).TEEZ courses are taught by extension, which means the school goes to the students in their local setting instead of asking students to leave their ministry for training. This offers education at a lower financial cost and is a more effective use of time. Another asset of the TEEZ model is that the training is contextual because the students learn within their own ministry environment and context. Each year, TEEZ offers courses in all ten provinces of Zambia, including the most remote areas. More than 10,000 students study with TEEZ each year.
In Zambia, gender equality in pay plays a significant role in the stability of a household. In Zambia, women and girls make up just over half of the population. In rural communities, incomes are often lower than in urban areas. Many factors are affecting women in Zambia, including child marriages and gender-based violence, all of which suppress their rights and income-earning potential.
In this context, TEEZ has started work on the Gender Equality Project. The purpose of this project is to remove the gap of gender inequality among the men and women of Zambia. This project has several components including microcredit programs, courses on civic engagement, advocacy for the empowerment of women and girls, and the development of a larger capacity for the work of gender equality in Zambia. This project is a priority for TEEZ, because of the observable increases in spousal abuse, violence against women and girls, and early marriages. TEEZ recognizes women have lacked representation in politics and also religion has left women vulnerable. The hope of the Gender Equality project is that it will bring awareness, change, and transformation at the grassroots level in the Eastern, Copperbelt, Northern, and central regions of Zambia.
Goals of the Gender Equality project include, increasing income-generating opportunities for 60 women in the Copperbelt and Northern Provinces through a new microcredit program and supporting 30 girls in primary schools with educational materials and tuition support. Also, the project seeks to advance gender equality, equity, and empowerment for 220 women and girls through capacity building trainings in order to become trainers in self-help groups. These groups will discuss gender-based violence and child marriage campaigns in the Central, Northern, Eastern, and Copperbelt provinces. In order to make systematic changes toward gender equality, TEEZ seeks to reach over 750,000 people in Zambia through radio and television campaigns, focus groups, and community drama performances.
Update: May 2020
Currently, the TEEZ has been offering a three-year training on leadership development, with the focus of gender equality included in each of the four modules. Included in this training program, students have learned about Christian Stewardship, Overcoming Violence, Praising God through Work and Worship, and God’s Plan for Sustainable Development. The program first began in 2017, and at the end of 2019, the TEEZ graduated 58 students from this leadership training.
The FAITH Empowerment Saving Groups of the TEEZ is run through TEEZ member churches. Through the groups, women learn about personal savings, business management lessons, and skills training such as hospitality management. Since the beginning of the project, the TEEZ Faith Empowerment Savings group are now running in three churches with 66 women participating in the project. The program encourages women to use 20% of their earnings toward savings, 10% toward a tithe, and 70% for everyday use. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, TEEZ also shares that members in the FAITH Empowerment Savings Groups are doing okay as they have been building up their savings prior to the pandemic.
Update: June 2022
In Zambia, gender equality in pay plays a significant role in the stability of a household. In Zambia, women and girls make up just over half of the population. In rural communities, incomes are often lower than in urban areas. Many factors are affecting women in Zambia, including child marriages and gender-based violence, all of which suppress their rights and income-earning potential. In this context, TEEZ has started work on the Gender Equality Project. The purpose of this project is to remove the gap of gender inequality among the men and women of Zambia. This project has several components including microcredit programs, courses on civic engagement, advocacy for the empowerment of women and girls, and the development of a larger capacity for the work of gender equality in Zambia.
Microcredit and Savings Groups
Since 2019, 20 women’s microcredit groups have been formed across the Copperbelt, Northern, Eastern, Lusaka, and Central Provinces. Each savings cycle, women have earned enough income to pay back interest on their initial loans for new members to participate. In Zambia, many families do not qualify for access to bank loans, and this program has provided women and families with the capacity to earn incomes and support one another in the group.
Edina posing with land acquired for a new income-generating project
Through the Gender Equality project, TEE-Zambia provides education support for ten school-aged girls from vulnerable households near Kitwe. This includes support for school shoes, backpacks, pens, books, pens, uniforms, and socks.
Workshops and Seminars
TEE-Zambia conducts workshops in seminars in different parts of the country to raise awareness on Gender-based Violence, as well as Gender and Livelihood. The discussions speak to how economic empowerment cannot be fully attained without addressing issues of gender-based violence, teenage pregnancies, and early/child marriages. There have been 18 workshops in total with 428 participants in Gender-based Violence workshops and 870 participants in the Gender and Livelihood workshops.
Update: October 2022
In Zambia, gender equality in income plays a significant role in the stability of a household. Women and girls make up over half of the population. In rural communities, incomes are often lower than in urban areas. Many factors are affecting women in Zambia, including child marriages and gender-based violence, all of which suppress their rights and income-earning potential. In this context, the Theological Education by Extension College in Zambia (TEEZ) has started work on the Livelihood Integration for Empowerment (LIFE) through Gender Equality Project. The purpose of this project is to remove the gap of gender inequality among the men and women of Zambia. This project has several components, including microcredit programs, courses on civic engagement, advocacy for the empowerment of women and girls, and the development of a larger capacity for gender equality work.
In the past several years, the LIFE Gender Equality Project has been implemented in several churches, districts, and provinces. Through this work, a microcredit fund was created to provide support to income generating activities of women. TEEZ also is supporting the first group of the “Church Community Banking” known as the St. James Anglican Church Community Banking Group.
Additionally, TEEZ through the LIFE Gender Equality Project has been integrated into FAITH Empowerment Saving Project brand. This has empowered TEEZ to develop the Staff Microcredit Fund. In Zambia, many church workers or faith-based organization workers do not qualify for access bank loans as banks feel there are higher risks in lending to with church workers. For this reason, church workers do not have an opportunity to invest for their retirement. This fund will provide an opportunity for TEEZ staff to access necessary loan funding.
Through the LIFE Gender Equality project, TEEZ supported ten school children who come from vulnerable households. They provided shoes, backpacks, pens, books, and uniforms. Due to support from Global Ministries, TEEZ hosted trainings around the country. They combined their Gender Based Violence program with programs that address drug and alcohol abuse, teenage pregnancies, and early or child marriages. Furthermore, TEEZ has expanded their educational resources, communication materials, and stakeholder programs.
The LIFE Gender Equality Project as a Gender and Livelihood Program for TEEZ has promoted economic empowerment among its participants in the following ways:
- TEEZ staff have increased their household assets.
- Staff future sustainability investment is underway with more staff acquiring land and farms while others are building houses for their life after retirement.
- Church community banking groups have received mentorship and capacity building training.
- Members of community saving groups have increased their household incomes and increased business capital. Others can send their children and other dependents to school.
- Local churches are benefiting from the saving groups’ social fund where members have contributed part of the proceeds from the social funds toward capital projects at church. One such example is St. James Anglican Church where the saving groups contributed 63 bags of cement toward the construction of the flats for income generating activities.
- Local pastors have been given a Pastors’ Financial Incentive from the profits realized in the saving groups as part of motivating the pastors and to encourage them to own and support the initiative.
Thank you for all who have supported the TEEZ Gender Equality project. This support is empowering women and church members. Global Ministries welcomes gifts in support of this project.
Update: January 2023
In 2022, the FAITH Empowerment Microcredit groups continued to promote congregational-based opportunity for financial savings and banking groups for the community. TEEZ offered training for 44 project participants. The goal of the training component of the project is to bring financial literacy for women of TEEZ member churches and communities. Reporting on the impacts of the project in the last year, TEEZ shares the project has:
– Increased household incomes
– Improved nutrition among households
– Reduced poverty and cases of gender-based violence in home
– 40 FAITH groups in operation
Support this Ministry
To make a gift for this ministry online or by check use the online donation page.
- 100% of your gift will be directed to Gender Equality Project of TEE Zambia
- You will receive updates on the work in this area as they become available
- Share in the vision of God’s abundant life for all people
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