Zambia: Zambia still committed to women empowerment

Zambia: Zambia still committed to women empowerment

Date: June 5, 2015
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Lusaka, 4 June: The Zambian government is concerned that discrimination against women still remains the most pervasive form of inequality.

Ministry of Gender and Child Development Permanent Secretary Daisy Ngambi said when she opened the fourth annual SADC Gender Protocol@Work Summit on May 28,2015 that Zambia is among countries in the region with few women representation in decision making positions.

Ngambi said it is saddening to see how women were discriminated upon by not being given an opportunity to participate equally in decision making positions giving an example where out of 1,422 councillors in Zambia, only 82 were female representing 6%.

She said this was caused by the adoption process implored by political parties which favour male candidates resulting in hindering women’s participation in decision making.

Ngambi appealed to political parties to review their constitutions and manifestos to ensure they adopt women and men on a 50/50 ratio in the upcoming 2016 general elections,”

“It is very disheartening to note that only two female mayors were elected across the country. We should all say ‘yes we can’ to attaining 50/50 representation by 2015”, Ngambi said.

Ngambi however said she was happy to be part of the official opening of the summit that proved to her ministry and Zambia at large that it will be a great success in the fight to gender equality.

She said that the signing of regional and international instruments on gender related issues by the Zambian Government was an indication that government is committed to promotion of gender equality.

Ngambi said this is evident in the fact that the Zambian government has scored major successes in the last two and half years in the area of gender equality.

She said Zambia can now boast of having a first ever female vice president and the first ever female chief justice since the country gained its independence in 1964.

Ngambi noted that Zambia has witnessed the appointment of several other women to head key institutions including the drug enforcement commission (DEC), Zambia police , anti-corruption commission (ACC) and other statutory bodies such as the bank of Zambia (BOZ) that is deputised by a female.

“It is heartening to note that this move has also been emulated by institutions such as the local government service commission which has appointed a good number of women to senior positions in our local authorities” she said.

Ngambi observed that with the number of female chief executives moving from three in 2012 to now 17 in the 103 councils countrywide the participation of women in polictis would be increased..

She commended Zambia’s President Edgar Lungu for his several appointments of women to head various key institutions in his quest to promote gender equality and achieving targets of the SADC protocol on gender and development.

Ngambi emphasized the need for all stakeholders to involve women in various activities including igniting their interest in the running of national affairs.

She however expressed disappointment with the high rate of gender-based violence (GBV) in the country saying, “gender inequality is also a problem of gender based violence, which is a growing concern the country,” . According to the 2014 Zambia Barometer compiled by Gender Links and the SADC Gender Protocol Alliance, of the six countries where the Violence Against Women Baseline Study has been conducted, Zambia has the highest lifetime prevalence with 89% of women in the four districts having experienced some form of GBV and 72% of men admitting to perpetrating some form of violence. About 29% of women reported experiencing non-partner rape in their lifetime while a higher proportion of men, 31% said they had perpetrated rape. Ironically, Zambia is the only country in the region with an Anti-Gender Based Violence Act.

This article is part of the GL News Service special coverage of the SADC Gender Protocol Summits underway across the region, offering fresh views on everyday news.


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