Women in Southern Province have resolved to unite across political affiliation to mobilize and rally support for their fellow female candidates ahead of the 2016 elections, reports pan African radio journalist Hermit Hachilonde.
In a communiqué signed by various political parties and NGOs during the women dialogue meeting held at Fairmount hotel from 2nd to 3rd December, 2015 in in Livingstone, Monze Central patriotic front (PF) parliamentary aspiring candidate for 2016, Cecilia Lungu expressed sadness over the low number of women in decision making positions.
Ms. Lungu observed that women participation in decision making positions particularly in politics and at presidential candidate level leaves much to be desired.
Meanwhile, Ms. Lungu also expressed concerned over the lack of affirmative action and gender specific discrimination in most political parties.
She says political parties should take deliberate steps to champion affirmative action and combat discrimination if participation of women in decision making position is to be realized.
“RESOLVE; to unite across political affiliation to mobilize our fellow women to rally support for our fellow female candidates as Councilors and Members of Parliament ahead of the 2016 elections;
CONDEMN; the recent political violence that has characterized the political arena and some of the entrenched cultural and traditional practices that have been inhibiting the participation of women in politics;
Demand that political parties put in place affirmative action strategies to adopt more women as candidates in 2016 to enable the country attain gender parity at both Parliamentary and Local Government levels. “
And Non-Governmental Organizations’ Co-coordinating Council-NGOCC Executive Director Engwase Mwale said the women movement in Zambia expects Government to rise to the occasion and support the cause for women’s participation in politics by enforcing laws towards a Gender Based Violence (GBV) free political environment.
She also urged participants to take the resolutions of the dialogue further by encouraging women with the potential to consider participation in politics.
Ms. Mwale noted that women are capable of making a difference in the political arena and national leadership if they unite and support one another.
“It is our expectation that will rise to the occasion and support the cause for women’s participation in politics by enforcing laws towards a GBV free political environment”