FIVE political parties have resolved to prioritise the reviewing of their constitutions, manifestos and other internal rules and regulations to make themselves gender-responsive as they prepare for the 2016 general elections.
The parties are the Alliance for Development and Democracy (ADD), Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD), Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD), Patriotic Front (PF) and the United Party for National Development (UPND).
The parties, in a joint communiqué issued at a press briefing in Lusaka yesterday,
expressed concern at continued gender-inequalities in their parties and failure to fulfil the requirements of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) protocol on gender and development.
The SADC protocol commits governments to ensure that by 2015, 50 percent of decision-making positions in the public and private sectors are held by women. This also requires engendering of political party constitutions, manifestos and internal regulations and rules.
Reading the communiqué to the Minister of Gender and Child Development Nkandu Luo on behalf of other political parties, PF member Joyce Mlewa said they have also resolved to develop gender policies aimed at addressing inequalities in party structures.
Mrs Mlewa said the parties will further press for attainment of the 50/50 gender balance, and thereby change the political structure.
“We have resolved to ensure that adoption and selection processes in political parties are gender-sensitive to ensure equal participation of women and men in elective positions,” she said.
And Prof Luo is happy that political parties have opted to work together in championing the gender agenda in their different political structures.
She said: “If things could always be like this, where we all come together for a common cause, we would really move faster in terms of development. Two striking things are that we have decided to work together as different political parties and the commitment from members of the press to report on issues that matter most in our development agenda.”