Vice President Inonge Wina has called upon members of parliament to support amendments to various pieces of legislation that promote gender parity at all levels of governance as government promotes women’s participation in leadership.
Speaking during the International Women’s Day celebrations in Lusaka yesterday, Wina said the promotion of women’s participation in leadership was key to the attainment of the 50-50 representation threshold at all levels of government.
“Government remains committed to promoting gender equality in its development agenda. It is in this regard that we will continue to develop and implement programmes that enhance the participation of girls and women in national development. The promotion of women’s participation in leadership to implement efforts to attain the 50-50 representation threshold at all levels of government remains key. However, I call upon all members of parliament to support amendments to various pieces of legislation that promote gender parity at all levels. To achieve this, government will continue to domesticate international protocols relating to women and gender in development and putting in place practical measures to achieve the objectives,” Wina said.
“Further, government will continue to enhance educational opportunities as well as promote the rights of a girl child particularly in removing the impediments that inhibit their participation at key points in their lives. Government will also continue to work towards the eradication of gender based violence, child marriages, teenage pregnancies and other forms of discrimination against girls and women. Government will also continue to promote policies that will contribute to transforming existing gender inequalities and promoting women’s empowerment.”
Vice-President Wina said there was need for participation of the private sector and civil society organisations to accelerate the momentum gained in improving the welfare of women and girls in the country.
“Government alone cannot achieve this without the involvement of various stakeholders. The promotion of gender equality requires the efforts of various stakeholders. As government we are grateful for the support that is being provided by the various cooperating partners and I want to urge them to continue with this support. Players in the private sector have a key role in promoting women’s participation in the labour market by ensuring that there are equal opportunities offered to the women and men to contribute to national development,” Wina said.
Wina also urged gender equality activists to ensure that they were not just active in urban areas but in rural areas as well.
“Time has come for our country to recognise the potential of women in rural areas. And the vital role women play in enabling food security at household level. We want to see positive and progressive messages as activists speak for their disadvantaged members of the community, especially those in rural areas. Gender based violence continues to be on the rise both in urban and rural areas and therefore, activists should continue to speak out so that today’s activism can alter the way we listen to women and the way we look at them,” said Wina.