First Lady Esther Lungu has called for adoption of sound work place policies that would elimination all forms of gender-based violence, particularly sexual harassment.

According to a statement issued by Zambia’s first secretary for press at the UN Chibaula Silwamba yesterday, Esther was speaking at a side event on “Elimination of Violence against Women in the Work Place” at the on-going 61st Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW61) in New York, which runs from March 13 to 24.

“To this date, women are subjected to all forms of abuse and unfair treatment at work places. From the whole spectrum of employee engagement, training, performance appraisals and rewards, women continue to be the subject of unfair labour practices, discrimination and violence,” Esther said.

“It is important to interrogate how best we can promote safe and secure working environments for all workers in particular women, whether they be migrant workers, domestic workers, farm workers or technical and professional women.”

Esther also said there was need to ensure equal pay and remuneration for women and men holding the same positions in the workplace.

She said the work environment world-over was expected to be a place where employment ethics, respect for women and equal treatment of all workers should be upheld.

Esther however expressed optimism that in the next 15 years, she foresaw positive outcomes in girls’ education investments.

“It is my firm belief that the awareness raising programmes and other advocacy efforts being made by different organisations such as the Zonta International, ILO, the UN as well as civil society organisations and government at national level will greatly contribute to economically empowering the girls and women and ensure that they are socially protected,” said Esther.