Strengthening the Capacity of Traditional Leaders to Champion Gender Equality in Zambia

November 2023
P. Malasha. (USAID)

This report from USAID’s Integrated Land and Resource Governance project discusses a pilot implementation in two of 288 chiefdoms of a set of Gender Guidelines for Traditional Leaders in Management of Natural Resources in the Chiefdoms. The project first funded a committee of chiefs and chieftainesses from Zambia’s House of Chiefs to develop the guidelines and then worked in two chiefdoms to pilot an implementation process. Key outcomes were that traditional leaders developed a shared vision to address gender inequalities in natural resource management, and they promoted equal representation of men and women, and it became a standard rule for all committees. They also issued directives in the two chiefdoms to increase gender equality in land allocation and in fisheries. Traditional authorities also strengthened awareness of gender-based violence and practices such as early marriage and took steps to ban them. Like many other approaches to social norm change through work on land and natural resources and with traditional leaders, including Mokoro’s own Women’s Land Tenure Security (WOLTS) project in Tanzania and Mongolia, this report from USAID in Zambia shows yet again the power of inclusive approaches to strengthening community land rights and natural resource management in a way that benefits all local stakeholders.