Professor of Universities, Marie Nyange Ndambo teaches at the University of Kinshasa at the Faculty of Economics. She also teaches at the Faculty of Agronomy at the Master’s Degree in Forest Policy and Governance. She also has an hourly load at the Higher Institute of Commerce (ISC) as Visiting Professor. And soon, she will be invited to the University of Bandundu to replace Professor Emeritus Kita. In addition to her teaching duties, she is also involved in the scientific societies where she performs the functions of Research Director at RENAPI, an organization that brings together scientists from COMESA. At the political level, she is the leader of the political party, the African People’s Union. She is the president of the “Model Forum” Women Entrepreneurs Network. In this interview she kindly gave to the newspaper Forum des As, Mrs. Marie Nyange Ndambo talks about the day of 08 March. For her, this Day was to be devoted to reflection to make the evaluation and project the future. Development, in his opinion, must go through the involvement of women in decision-making positions. Below is an interview conducted by Dina BUHAKE from Forum des As.
The world is celebrating today 08 March, International Women’s Day. What does this day mean to you?
For me, March 8th is a day of commemoration of the sufferings endured by the first women who fought for freedom to give voice to the speechless women. At the level of the Democratic Republic of Congo, I think that it is high time for women to rise, not only to celebrate March 08, but also to make an assessment of the progress made and to see how to combine efforts to That the world is aware of the efforts of both sexes to make progress.
As a scientist, many studies have shown that countries that have been able to involve women, who have given enough space to women in the decision-making sphere, have been able to take the step towards development. These studies across the world have shown that when women are given a little more chance of access not only to knowledge, but also to resources to support the girl, that country advances compared to d ‘other. And, as a political leader, we felt we should set up this political party to give both women and men space for expression. So we feel that 08 is a day that should normally allow us to sit down, take a step back and ask ourselves about the role that the woman should play or the role that the woman has played so far and see How to improve the contributions of women in the daily life of the nation.
Women tend to wait for power on a golden plateau instead of standing by the ballot, for example. Do you agree?
I do not agree. That is why we thought of setting up this political party so that women could find their place. It is through this structure that they can position themselves because they usually come at the last minute where men have already taken everything. Fortunately, for us today, our country has chosen a democratic mode of management. And so, we feel that we must work to deserve a place in the sun. But we also know what can be a bottleneck to the efforts that women can make. This is how we believe that the state can take affirmative action to help women move forward. While accepting democratic principles, there are countries that have been able to put in place laws that positively discriminate against women to gain access to command posts. And I believe that the day we get to the National Assembly, we will work to ensure that the country has access to those kinds of tools that allow us to do so.
The DRC is in full electoral process. What can the Congolese do specifically for it to be represented in different polls?
Right now, I think the woman has to use the tools at her disposal. We have laws, mainly the electoral law that shows how to get to that position. And so women must start now to mobilize their bases, to work, to propagate their ideas, to have as many members as possible so that when the time comes, those whom we went to The message, can recognize us in our ideas and give us their confidence. You have to work with the base. Sometimes the mistake we make is that we need to mobilize the base only during the campaign period. There must be permanent direct contacts in order to establish a direct relationship with the base, have time to discuss with the base to convince them of the merits of the ideas we have, your presence in the institutions of the country So that at the moment of the elections we do not have to lament. This can be taken for granted.
You say you have to make permanent contact with the base. But, one thing is to recognize also that the woman does not vote woman.
It’s true in our culture. The woman does not vote woman. For a long time working in development projects, especially in international organizations, I have observed in many entities, the behaviors of women towards their congeners. There is still work to be done because women do not trust women very much. But as a leader, I think it depends on how you do it. We can not say that things will remain as they are. We have to work on it, show that we are capable of bringing a lot to society while being united and even starting from the experiences of other countries, and show them how women have joined forces in order to elect or place Women in a particular position or decision. This way will help to change your mentality as you go along. But it must also be recognized that the change of mentality is a long-term task. We have to work on it from day to day.
What is your appreciation of the dialogue that is desired by some and rejected by others?
As a scientist, as I go through the history of this country, I realize that whenever we have experienced difficult times, we have always found ourselves to resolve our differences. And today, given the political context that the country is going through, it is more than necessary that people meet to discuss vital issues that? In the future, risk putting the country in difficulty if we are not careful. I think dialogue in itself is not bad. We must not wait until we have shot ourselves to finally sit down to solve the problems, but we must anticipate.
Maybe a special message to the Congolese on this March 8th?
To the Congolese woman, I can say that woman as mother, as a person who carries life, should stand up to contribute to the current discussions. She must not wait for men to take the lead and be there only to follow because by displaying such an attitude one is always marginalized. She must stand up and say that the country belongs to us all and we must work to advance this beautiful country that God has given us.
Published March 8, 2016 on Forum des As. Interview by Dina BUHAKE.