FDD President Edith Nawakwi says poverty has the face of women in the country while the instruments for power for development are in the hands of the men folk.
And Ms Nawakwi has accused Republican President Edgar Lungu of denying women increased representation in decision making positions when he signed the amended Constitution.
Speaking when she featured on United Radio to mark Women’s Day celebrations Ms Nawakwi said it is the women who are holding families together with their small businesses.
She said even though women were celebrating their day they were still waking up in the morning and trading in the mud at Soweto and other markets around country.
“The face of poverty in this country is that of a woman. I think even though we are celebrating International Women’s Day you will find that when you go to Soweto my sisters are waking up as early as 03 in the morning to go to do business in the mud and unfortunately it’s our brothers who are holding on to the instruments of development.
All we are saying is that we be given space in Parliament, we went space in government so that we can make decisions that impact on the future of our society and that society simply means our children,” Ms Nawakwi said.
Asked how she was interpreting this year’s Women’s Day theme Ms Nawakwi wondered how the country can talk about 50-50 when women had asked for 30% and were denied by the President when he signed the amended Constitution.
“How can you talk about 50-50, I think that the AU, SADC protocols have moved from 30% to 50, in fact at the AU you find that all the commissioners have given equal opportunities to the women, if there is a man the other is a woman. Here, the Zambia women were crying for 30% and the President of the republic of Zambia denied us that access under the pretext that there wasn’t enough money.
“If they had given us the opportunity to discuss those details we would have said out of the 156 seats in Parliament can please just have 30% within the budget and that was feasible so you can not say 50-50 when you still find mothers still fetching water from a source where animals are drinking,” she said.