Politicians in the country have affirmed to ending violence against women.
Gathered in Lusaka under the auspices of the Zambia Centre for Inter-Party Dialogue (ZCID), politicians from political outfits all endorsed the ending of violence especially that against women.
Speaking in Lusaka during a validation of a ZCID Manual on Violence and Women in politics, the stakeholders shared their concerns with all agreeing that women are a key component in the country’s democracy and hence they need to take part in politics unhindered by factors like violence.
“There is need to have a level playing field for women in Politics in Zambia and violence should not be anywhere near elections and a democratic cycle,” Precious Tambu of the Democratic Party says.
Other factors like lack of resources and traditions inhibited women from taking centre stage in politics also showed up their negatives in hindering women in taking part.
“For example, if the Electoral Commission of Zambia tells you two or three weeks before the election nomination that Nomination fee is K7, 500. Maybe you as a Councillor you pay that K7, 500 but there is that woman out there who too wishes to contest. But because of challenges in resources, they may think that they just use the same money in buying food at home because they have nothing,” a Zambia Republican Party representative says.
Zambia’s former Governing party, the United National Independence Party (UNIP) says women need to be given the space free of intimidation and violence for them to prove they too can make good leaders.
“We need to support the women, they are key to all faculties of leadership and we need a free space for them to operate in and the world could see that yes, they are better leaders. This can only happen if the space if free of violence,” Rev. Afraid Banda of UNIP notes.
And Zambia Centre for Inter-Party Dialogue says violence against women should be a thing of the past if the country is to make meaningful development both political and economic wise.
ZCID Chairperson Jackson Silavwe says it is important for all stakeholders to team up and fight the vice noting that violence against women in Politics has made it difficult for them to take part actively and contribute effectively.
He says this is even the cause of not having a number of women in decision making positions.
The ZCID Chairperson says that this should be done with as soon as possible if women are to make a mark in politics and governance of the country.
Mr. Silavwe affirms that as ZCID as an entity that deals with politics, will do everything possible to fight the negative trend.
And Zambia National Women’s Lobby Juliet Chibuta says partnering with organisations like ZCID, the centrepiece of politics in Zambia, is one key aspect to achieve the goal of ending the depravity that affected exiling of women.
ZCID has continued to engage all political parties in the country over various governance matters and key among them is participation of all regardless of gender where it has been noted that many women are critically thrown away the political front because of violence.
It is for this reason that ZCID has decided to come up with a Manual that will give some guidance to politicians are they undertake their activities and all political players in the country have had their input in the document to be shared with the public soon.