Vice President Inonge Wina has urged African governments to appoint women in decision making positions to enable them contribute fully to their countries’ economic development.
Mrs. Wina, who is Zambia’s First Female Vice President, said there is need for the African Union (AU) to find ways of incorporating gender equality in the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) in order for governments to adhere to commitments made during conferences.
Speaking during a high level breakfast meeting for the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia today, the Vice President said it was important that commitments made by African governments on gender equality are effected and binding on all.
“I can guarantee that if more women were in decision making positions, Africa would be a better place to live in,” said Mrs. Wina.
According to a press statement issued to ZANIS in Lusaka today by First Secretary for Press and Tourism at the Zambian Embassy in Ethiopia, Inutu Mwanza, the Vice President also called for inclusion of women in the arbitration committee in order to enable them take part in efforts to end conflicts in Africa.
Mrs. Wina further urged African governments to entrench affirmative action in their policies to allow for more representation of women in politics.
She expressed concern at the alleged marginalization of women in politics due to social norms that discourage the participation of the womenfolk in politics stressing that it is difficult for females to be retained in politics in many African states.
The Vice President is in Ethiopia to attend the 30th African Union heads of state and government summit being held under the theme ‘winning the fight against corruption; a sustainable path to Africa’s transformation’.
Speaking earlier, South African President Jacob Zuma acknowledged the need for African governments to appoint more women in decision making positions.
Mr. Zuma said his government was focused on ensuring that women also participate fully in national development.
And Ghanaian President Akufo Addo, who is also African Union (AU) champion on gender, said it was time that African countries affirmed their commitment in ensuring that women are given adequate opportunities to participate in their countries’ socio-economic development.
Meanwhile, United Nations (UN) Secretary General Antonio Guteres called for political will among African countries to reduce the gap between women and men in decision making positions.
Mr. Guteres said Africa is not short of competent women to fill decision making positions.