DR CHARLOTTE Scott says sustained attacks on women in politics is making it difficult for them to venture into the political arena because violence is intimidating.
Commenting on PF cadres’ attack on UPND Chilanga aspiring candidate Charmaine Musonda and two others, Sunday, Charlotte, who is former vice-president Dr Guy Scott’s wife, expressed concern on the heightened number of assaults on opposition members, especially women, as it made female participation in the political arena much harder.
“Even B-Flow was also attacked yesterday (Sunday), so in the course of one day, you have several shocking stories. What I can say is that these are the stories we hear about, there must be many others that we don’t hear about. These are high-profile cases. I think for women it makes the prospect for political ventures in politics particularly intimidating because you will never know when physical violence will be brought to bear. It is certainly something of great concern to me [even during] the time I was involved directly,” Charlotte said.
“I think it is something we should take very seriously. It shouldn’t be necessary. Everyone should be allowed to campaign freely, to participate freely, to express political affiliations to whichever party they prefer without fear of any physical retribution. Politics is supposed to be about issues, politics is about the future of our country.”
She said it was important for the perpetrators to be brought to book as it would deter others from replicating the vice on political opponents.
“Probably, we need to have some sort of deterrent on the perpetrators. The deterrent exists when the police act. We have to have a deterrent. So, certainly it is essential that these cases are resolved. The other problem with not resolving them is that, generally, people will be thinking that this is politics they will just do it, which is not true. Not everybody is involved in such. You have to identify and eliminate that from politics,” Charlotte said.
And she urged women in politics to work together and overcome their fears to achieve their political goals.
“I think they should try to overcome those fears and they should work together, they should try and support each other and try to work together and protect themselves in pursuit for political goals. But, of course, to be intimidated out of expressing your voice is not a situation you want to be in,” said Charlotte.