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The situation of women participation in politics has not changed much since the 2016 elections. Statistics show that in the previous Parliament of 2011, out of the 158 parliamentary seats, only 24 seats (15%), and a further 86 seats (6%) out of 1422 at local government level, were held by women. The 2016 elections only went up to 9% female representation at the local government level and 17% in Parliament.
The political parties’ constitutions and manifestos also remain gender blind with no clear indications on how to champion gender equity and equality at all levels of political party structures. The lack of political will, low participation of women is largely fuelled by the patriarchal culture and practices which render women as second class citizens. The economic status of women and the Gender bias coverage in media continue to hinder women’s chances of ascending to political positions. Zambia has been using the First-Past-The-Post (FPTP) or winner takes all systems to elect a Republican president. The winning candidate in these elections is determined on the basis of a simple majority vote. This plurality system simply awards the presidency or seat to the individual candidate who receives the most votes in an election.
Recently the country underwent a constitutional review amendment process which included the gender equity and equality statement but with no quota system and proportional representation. More lobbying needs to be done by Government and Civil Society organisations to ensure the inclusion of minimum of 30% quota system and proportional representation in the constitution.