"A SENIOR teacher of Kawambwa district in Luapula Province who has been sued by his wife for divorce accused her of getting pregnant and giving birth without his knowledge. Magistrate Zaloumis said Chanda has no truth and that marriage is all about trust. “I have discovered that you got married to your husband because of material things and not love, he took you to school until your last term and you want to get rid of him now that you are educated,” she said. “We should bring back our old culture where we used to gather information on a woman before marrying her so that you are sure that she comes from a good family and has good intentions, she said."
You are probably not an expert on Zambian culture yet, Mark, but I am really wondering about the "shaving private parts" business. I was watching an afternoon women's programme in France earlier this week (yes, I guess I am a pervert) and one of the subjects was the relatively new mania of trimming/shaping/removing pubic hair, mostly on women but also on men. It was pointed out by several "experts" that all of this can be traced back to the development of pornography and the things that one can see. I would not expect Zambia to be a hotbed of pornographic viewing in spite of the internet, but perhaps I am mistaken?
"She told the court that the condition he gives when it is his turn to shave her (black cloth hung outside) scares her because she does not know what that means." And no, I don't have a clue either. Nor do I know much about shaving pubic hair unless it is for hygiene purposes or so someone can see better, for whatever reason they may want to. Or so neither has to fight there way through a forest to get to the good stuff.
....... it seems there is no obscene publications act in the laws of the country and until recently (how recent I don't know yet) pornography wasn't something there was a law against other than morally. Also, "The law in Zambia does not provide a definition of pornography nor is it particularly criminalised". Same with there being no definition of what is "obscene". I still need to read through this more but there has to be a certain amount here. One of the factors against it being widespread is that probably 99.9% is from the internet. As this is not widespread at all, and is comparatively expensive (Euro 120/month for unlimited), I think that there is relatively little that can be accessed anyway.
There is a case, in 2009, whereby the editor of a newspaper was given photos of two women giving birth in the grounds of a hospital because there was a doctors strike. "Ms Kabwela did not publish the photos, but in July this year, she mailed graphic images of a woman giving birth without medical help to various prominent people in Zambia, including the vice-president. She argued that she sent the pictures because she wanted to highlight the effect the strike had on the health care system;....." The President at the time demanded she be arrested and done for pornography. She was acquitted when it came to court - www.telegraph.co.uk/expat/expatnews/6612666/Zambian-journalist-acquitted-of-pornography-over-childbirth-photos.html
I expected to scroll quickly through the first link with a smirk and probably an occasional guffaw, but I actually read all 56 pages and found it very interesting. And it does mention the publication of the photo of a woman giving birth in the street during a hospital strike as being completely unacceptable as being called "pornography." Naturally the ultimate conclusion of the study is precisely what one would expect, but the paper did look at all sides of the question (except for the fact that it seemed to think that all existing pornography was only to titillate men doing things to women, which I will admit is the main volume of pornography but definitely not the only one). Another understandable weakness was to use only British, American and Canadian examples and jurisprudence as though they were the only important ones.
Thank you for your thorough search, Mark. I'll try to check out the other links when I have a lull in my agenda.
Further on from this shaving of private parts thing, I read quite often in the court section of the papers where shaving is mentioned. I am certain now this has some significance but I'm at a loss at the moment as to who to ask about it. There is still a great belief in witchcraft in the country and I feel it is part of that. However -