Gender Minister Nkandu Luo has attributed Zambia’s failure to meet some Millennium Development Goals (MGDs) to the inability to deal with the issue of gender disparity in the country.
Professor Luo says had the country dealt with the issue of gender disparity where men and women have equal opportunities to participate in decision making; the MGDs on the reduction of poverty would have been met easily.
She says this is because poverty in Africa and in Zambia in particular has a woman face, yet few women have the opportunity to be in decision making positions to end poverty.
Professor Luo adds that had gender been institutionalized in the country, MGDs on HIV and Cervical Cancer would have equally been dealt with easily because both diseases also have a woman face.
She was speaking this afternoon in Lusaka during the official opening of the roundtable discussion on Institutionalizing gender in political parties in Zambia organized by the Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP) in collaboration with the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance ( International IDEA).
Earlier FODEP Executive Director MacDonald Chipenzi said the roundtable discussion has the objectives of increasing awareness on gender inequality within political parties and the gender responsive strategies that political parties can adopt and implement.
Mr. Chipenzi notes that the other objectives are to facilitate the drafting of gender policies by political parties and promote knowledge exchange and learning across political parties.
And International IDEA Senior Programme Manager Rumbidzai Kandawasvika-Nhundu has reaffirmed her organization’s commitment to promoting gender equality within political parties.
Ms. Kandawasvika-Nhundu says this is because her organization which is based in Stockholm, Sweden understands that political parties are the gatekeeper for which one gets in decision making positions.
The roundtable discuss was attended by representatives from the ruling PF, MMD, UPND and FDD.