The Non-governmental Gender Organizations’ Coordinating Council (NGOCC) has expressed disappointment at the non-adoption of women by the PF and UPND in the Chilubi parliamentary by-election.
In a statement, Wednesday, NGOCC executive director Engwase Mwale said the two political parties missed an opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to women’s participation in decision-making.
“The Non-governmental Gender Organisations’ Coordinating Council (NGOCC) is disappointed with the decision by both the Patriotic Front (PF) and the United Party for National Development (UPND) to adopt male candidates in the Chilubi By-Elections. The PF and the UPND have missed an opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to gender equality and women’s participation in decision-making. Over the years, NGOCC and the women’s movement at large, have been concerned about the low participation of women in decision-making at all levels. The Chilubi By-Election presented an opportunity to all the political parties to at least maintain the numbers of women in the house,” Mwale stated.
She stated that sustainable development would remain elusive for as long as women were excluded from occupying positions of influence at all levels.
“Women’s participation in decision-making is not only important but also a development imperative. As we have continually stated, sustainable development will remain elusive for as long as women are excluded from occupying positions of influence at all levels; Parliament and Local Government among others. Last year, we lost two female Members of Parliament moving from 18% to now a paltry 17.2%. Therefore, the decision of the governing party PF, and the largest opposition political party UPND, to go against the appeals by the women’s movement to have a replacement of a female in the By-Election dampens the commitment to 50-50 representation of both men and women,” stated Mwale.
She, however, expressed optimism that the other political parties would adopt women.