Zambia: Women’s voices crucial for democracy

Zambia: Women’s voices crucial for democracy

Date: June 5, 2015
  • SHARE:

Lusaka, 4 June: Gender Links Zambia board member, Sara Longwe has observed that there cannot be true democracy unless women’s voices are heard, and women are given the opportunity to take responsibility for their own lives.

Longwe said gender equality is a prerequisite for sustainable development in the world and as such should be embraced by all.

She attributed the unequal political and economic standing in society to patriarchal attitudes which she said allowed husbands to dictate their wives’ political choices.

Longwe said such kind of infringement on women’s rights should not be entertained because they hinder equal participation and was a hindrance to the development of any country

Longwe said the common misguided attitude held by both men and women deprives women of the chance to address issues that affect like those on sexual and reproductive health and gender based violence (GBV).

Longwe said in an interview during Gender Links SADC Gender Protocol Summit at the Lusaka’s Cresta Golf View Hotel that it was such practices that resulted in the region having fewer women representation in decision making positions.

She has since called for the enactment of a law that will compel political parties to adopt women in political positions such as members of parliaments (MPs) and local government councillors.

“There is need to revisit and change harmful traditional practices that violate rights of the women and hinder them from participating in decision making positions,”Longwe said
Longwe said it was regrettable that due to patriarchal society, cultural and religious norms men do not believe in equality resulting in the violation of women’s rights.

She said women should be entitled to vote in all elections on equal terms with men, without any discrimination.”
Longwe said “I find it to be disturbing that in the 21st Century, people have a backward mind-set and women are deprived of their constitutional right to vote and contest in the elections”.

Zambia National Women’s Lobby Group Programmes manager Emma Mwiinga said it is unfortunate that politics in Zambia are viewed to be for men which has negatively affected women from contributing positively towards national development.

Mwiinga called for the empowering of women and girls, by ensuring their full and effective participation for leadership positions at all levels of decision making in political, economic and public life.

Mwiinga echoed Longwe’s views that there cannot be true democracy unless all citizens are able to participate fully in the governance of the country.
The Zambia national summit was held from May 28 to May 29, 2015 under the theme “Now and Post 2015, Yes we Must.”

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

Comment on Zambia: Women’s voices crucial for democracy

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *