The First Lady of the Republic of Zambia Mrs Esther Lungu will speak at High-Level meetings at the Sixty-First session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW61) that will take place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from 13 to 24 March 2017.
In a statement released to the media by First Secretary for Press and Public Relations Permanent Mission of the Republic of Zambia to the United Nations Mr Chibaula Silwamba, Mrs. Lungu – who is a strong advocate for women empowerment, safe motherhood, protection of the girl child, promotion of rights for persons with disabilities and fight against Gender Based Violence (GBV) – will arrive in New York this Saturday.
The First Lady will participate in the largest annual women’s gathering, which draws hundreds of participants from Government Ministers and officials, First Ladies, princesses, policy makers and implementers, heads of UN agencies and other international organizations, donor agencies, civil society organizations, corporate executives, women’s movement, human rights activists and other stakeholders from across the world.
Zambia’s participation at the CSW is cardinal to share the country’s best practices in women’s issues with the international community and to learn from others for possible implementation at home. CSW also provides a platform at which Zambia could consolidate its positive image and mobilise finances to support entrepreneurial women and the needy in the country
Among the many high-profile engagements she is scheduled to attend, Mrs. Lungu will speak at a side-event organized by UN Women, Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), European Union Commission, and World Food Programme (WFP) focusing on working with rural women to end hunger and poverty.
The First Lady will attend and speak at the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) organised meeting on “Safe Birth Even Here Campaign” and at another side-event, “Investing in the Health and Social Workforce: Maximising Women’s Economic Participation and Empowerment”.
Mrs. Lungu will participate in a meeting on empowering rural and indigenous women to achieve food security and nutrition. The First Lady will also speak at a side-event co-organised by the Permanent Mission of Zambia to the United Nations and the International Labour Organisation that will focus on Economic Security and curbing violence against women in the workplace.
Mrs. Lungu will speak at an event on pathways to economic justice for adolescent girls and young women.
The First lady is scheduled to participate in the meeting organized by four UN agencies – UNICEF, FAO, WHO and UN Women – dubbed: “Women and Labour: a nutritional Perspective”.
Mrs. Lungu, who is a strong campaigner in the fight against cancer and supporter of women suffering from cancer, will speak at a meeting focusing on indigenous African women, and cancer as a defencelss prey.
Permanent Mission of Zambia to the UN Chargé d’Affaires ad interim Ms. Christine Kalamwina, diplomatic staff, the Senior Private Secretary in the Office of the First Lady Ms. Florence Chawelwa and senior Government officials will welcome the First Lady Mrs Lungu and her close party in New York.
Gender Minister Honourable Victoria Kalima, MP for Kasenengwe, will lead the Zambian delegation to the Sixty-First session of the Commission on the Status of Women. Others expected to be part of the Zambian delegation are Ministry of Gender Permanent Secretary Edwidge Mutale, Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) Commissioner Emily Sikazwe, Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) Director General Josephine Mapomo, other senior Government officials and members of the women’s movement are part of the Zambian delegation.
The priority theme for CSW61 is “Women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work” and the Review theme is “Challenges and achievements in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals for women and girls (agreed conclusions of the fifty-eighth session) while emerging issue and focus area will be “the empowerment of indigenous women”.
Zambia has won international respect for its advocacy and implementation of policies and programmes that protect and promote the wellbeing of women and girls.
CHIBAULA D. SILWAMBA (Mr.)
First Secretary for Press and Public Relations
Permanent Mission of the Republic of Zambia to the United Nations