Women, Nationalism and Revolution
At this time I was constituency vice-chairman of the Women’s Brigade. Two officials came and talked to us women too, and asked us individually: “Among you women, who is willing to volunteer to work for the organization without pay.” All the women were quiet and so they asked us a second time: “Talk to your men and say UNIP wants volunteers in the office as full-time workers.’’ But when we met for the second time, most of the women flatly refused. Though some women were willing, their husbands refused and said that they would not allow their wives to work together with other men. “Let them look for other women.” Other women refused on the grounds that they had children and they would not be able to find time to cook. “It could happen that I would be thrown into prison, leaving my children to suffer for something they do not know about.” I turned the matter over in my heart and asked myself what would happen if everyone refused to work for the country — how would we become free? To suffer for your brethren is a good thing, because you can be received by Jesus; working for your brother is working for God. Jesus suffered when he died for us, and so suffering would be in the name of God.
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