The NGOCC says it is opposed to the holding of the national referendum together with elections on the 11th August,2016.
Speaking during the Women’s Day celebrations NGOCC Board Chairperson Sara Longwe said holding the referendum together with the elections would bring confusion to the voters.
“NGOCC strongly calls on government to ensure that measures are put in place to ensure that the National Referendum is held quickly to adopt the expanded bill of rights which strongly will make us improve the status of women and girls in Zambia.
” As an organization we are however opposed to the idea of holding the Referendum together with the general elections it will cause confusion as there is already,” she said.
Ms Longwe also called on government to quickly realign the gender equality bill which was passed by parliament recently to the amended Constitution.
“Further on NGOCC calls on the government especially the ministry of Gender to quickly realign the gender equity and equality bill passed by parliament recently to the amended and approved through an independent and autonomous gender equity and equality commission. We believe that this commission will ensure that gender will be main streamed in both private and public sectors. We further ask our dear President Mr Edgar Lungu to ascent to this bill because it will assist to minimise discrimination,” she noted.
Meanwhile Ms Longwe has called on President Edgar Lungu to firmly deal with the increase political violence.
She said the low numbers in women participation in politics is partly because of political violence hence the need for both the ruling and opposition political parties to curb the vice.
And speaking at the same function UN country Coordinator Janet Rogan called on women to stop viewing themselves as victims of circumstances.
She said women should emancipate themselves from the shackles of gender discrimination adding that the forth coming general elections offers a great opportunity for women in the country to advance themselves.
She said women should not give excuses for not doing things which are dominated by men as women are the backbones of many house holds and are capable of doing anything they set their mind to.
On the continued misapplication of the Public Order Act Ms Rogan called on the police and the opposition to meet and find amicable ways of applying the the Act.
She said the continued misapplication of the Public Order Act is contributing to the increase in political violence which a turn off to women participation in politics.
Meanwhile Gender Minister Nkandu Luo challenged women to fill up the gap and rise up and be counted.