Vice-President Mrs Inonge Wina has said government has no intentions of taking away land from the traditional leadership in Zambia and that the proposed new land policy is meant to improve the administration of land in the country.
The Vice-President said many countries in the world are re-examining land legislation and that Zambia is still grappling with land challenges on account of the land laws that are discriminatory and not streamlined to best manage land administration.
The Vice President said Zambia has embarked on its land audit and mapping and that it is the expectation of government that the participation of the traditional leaders is important in the process that would see the administration of land is improved for the benefit of all citizens including women.
Speaking to Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation’s (ZNBC) reporter Kennedy Bwalya in New York, Vice-President Wina said the just ended 62nd Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) had made Zambia learn and share a lot of experiences on the empowerment of women and girls in rural areas.
She said the fact that many countries in the world are revising their policies and legislation on land administration meant that Zambia should not remain behind hence the need for the country’s land legislation re-examined.
She said women and girls in Zambia are often discriminated and victimised in many areas including their participation in economic activities and the right to acquire and own land yet the majority of the women are plying their living on land that they do not own.
“The 62nd Session of the Commission on the Status of Women like other high-level meetings at the United Nations (UN) is a platform to address gender equality throughout the world. It was an opportunity to share experiences and acquire as much information as possible on the empowerment of women and girls in rural areas. The inclusion of women in decision-making positions including the need for women to own land can spur economic growth for many countries. Our traditional leaders should know that government has no intention to take land away from them. Many countries are re-examining their laws and legislation on land and we should do the same in Zambia,” Vice-President Wina said.
And Vice-President Wina said it is her hope that the Bill on political parties would be able to address gender imbalances and issues of having gender parity at all levels of decision-making.
She said at the moment, the situation on gender parity both in Parliament and local councils in the country is not rosy as only 18 percent of women are occupying elective offices.
She has appealed to Members of Parliament to support the Bill on Political Parties and ensure that the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) protocol of equal number of representation in Parliament in the next general elections.
The Vice-President Zambia is lucky to have President Lungu who is gender-sensitive but feared what would become of the country should someone who does not believe in gender equality assume the leadership of the country.
“Political parties should encourage women to be part of the leadership of the country. A number of political parties are male dominated but the Patriotic Front (PF) is leading the way in mainstreaming gender in all sectors and economic activities of the country. MPs should take an interest in pushing for gender equality,” the Vie-President said.
Vice-President Wina has since returned home.