THE Non-governmental Gender Organisations’ Coordinating Council (NGOCC) has urged President-elect Hakainde Hichilema to consider nominating women for the eight Members of Parliament positions in order to cushion the low numbers of females currently elected.
In a statement, NGOCC board chairperson Mary Mulenga said it was saddening that the country had missed another opportunity to narrow the gender gap on achieving the 50-50 women and men representation in political positions.
“To a large extent, NGOCC notes with sadness the continued discrimination of women from both participating and benefiting from the various developmental processes. For example, during the just-ended elections, Zambia has once again missed the opportunity to narrow the gender gap on achieving the 50-50 women and men representation in political positions. From our preliminary data analysis, the number of women elected to both Parliament and local government falls far below 20% and 8% respectively. It is therefore, NGOCC’s expectation that the Republican President will consider nominating women for the 8 Members of Parliament positions in order to cushion the low numbers of women in Parliament,” she said.
Mulenga also urged the new government to prioritize the country’s legal and policy reforms and ensure that no one was left behind.
“We wish to reiterate the need for the new government to prioritize reforms to the country’s legal and policy framework. In addition, national programme design and implementation should be done in a way that leaves no one behind. We appeal to the UPND Alliance administration to focus on workable and effective development strategies that will emancipate the poor and vulnerable and help in narrowing the gender divide between women and men. In this regard, it is our appeal to the new leadership to operationalize the Gender Equity and Equality Act (GEEA) by establishing the Gender Commission,” she stated.
Mulenga further congratulated President-elect Hichilema on his election and commended President Edgar Lungu for accepting the election results.
“NGOCC congratulates United Party for National Development (UPND) leader and President-Elect, His Excellency Mr. Hakainde Hichilema, and the Vice President-Elect Her Honour Ms. Mutale Nalumango, for the decisive win in the just ended 12th August 2021 General Elections. This resounding victory is a demonstration of the confidence that the Zambian electorates have in the UPND Alliance leadership,” stated Mulenga.
“NGOCC wishes to salute the outgoing President, His Excellency Mr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu, for the service rendered to our country in the last 7years. We also commend President Lungu on his address to the nation on Monday, 16th August 2021, which touched on the true tenets of Zambia’s growing democracy and the spirit of embracing peace and unity. We are happy to learn of the specific part played by elder statesmen and women in the background whose interventions have paved the way for a smooth transition and handover of instruments of power. It is, therefore, NGOCC’s expectation that Zambia remains on this trajectory for all other elections and democratic processes now and in the future.”