Vice-President Mrs Inonge Mutukwa Wina has told the United Nations (UN) that any nation that suppresses the voice of a woman in matters of national development will be setting itself a disastrous future for the next generation.
Vice President Wina has advised United Nations Member States never to fall guilty of the offence of marginalising and discriminating women in national development because the female gender remains critical to the sustainable economic progression of all nations across the globe.
Delivering a key note address to the 62nd Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) side event themed; “The voice of women in rural areas for sustainable healthy future:”, Vice-President Wina said the limited number of women in decision-making positions and control over land usage has contributed to low agriculture productivity among nations.
She stated that low agriculture productivity has often led to food insecurity among nations which has subsequently resulted into poor health among women particularly for those living in rural areas
Vice-President Wina observed that women often make significant contributions to agriculture and rural economies across the globe especially in developing countries where the female gender represents the majority of up to more than 70 percent of the labour force.
“Any nation that suppresses the voice of a woman in any matter of national importance sets the state for a disastrous future for the next generation. May we never be found guilty of this offence! Women often have limited decision-making power and control over land usage and later on the outputs. This contributes to low agriculture productivity and food insecurity leading to poor health among women and girls, especially those living in rural areas,” Vice-President Wina said.
The Vice-President explained that formulating effective land tenure policies and legal reforms which would take into account prevailing customs and practices among nations should improve modern land administration which is key to ensuring women’s healthy future.
She stated further that without an efficient and effective land administration system, meaningful development would continue to elude nations to achieve sustainable food security and improved nutrition as well as natural resource management.
She said women and their organisation should be given a voice and fully participate in the decision-making process affecting their well being in rural areas.
“The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has placed high priority on the need to address malnutrition by committing Member States to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture. One of the greatest challenge facing countries especially in the developing world, is malnutrition in all its forms, as women and girls continue to struggle with food insecurity. It is critical to ensure that policies are developed which enhance agriculture productivity and food security as this will inevitably lead to increased standards of health for women and girls,” the Vice-President said.
Vice-President Wina said the Government of Zambia has acknowledged that women often have a strong body of knowledge and expertise that can be used in climate change mitigation, disaster reaction, and adaptation and eco-friendly agriculture farming methods and is actively promoting the participation of women in dealing with effects of climate change.
She said Government has since developed a Climate Change Gender Action Plan meant to build a knowledge base on health; gender and climate change linkages and strengthen the mainstreaming of gender into national health policies to ensure sustainability.