Wednesday, June 19, 2024

PMRC calls for promotion of women in leadership positions

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Policy Monitoring and Research Center (PMRC) has called for women to be ambassadors for the post COVID-19 response agenda as the country implements the Economic Recovery Programme 2021-2023.

PMRC Executive Director, Bernadette Zulu said women can help identify and address gaps in response to the pandemic in order to redistribute economic resources as well as address gender-based violence.

She said in a statement that the pandemic has led to job losses and reduced business opportunities for women.

“To do this, we must break down the deep-seated historic, cultural, and socio-economic barriers that prevent women from taking their seat at the decision-making table to ensure that resources and power are more equitably distributed,” she said.

Mrs Zulu noted that in many countries, including Zambia, the first round of layoffs has been particularly acute in the services sector, including retail, hospitality and tourism, where women are most represented.

She said despite the barriers, women have continued being at the forefront of the response to COVID-19, in health facilities, service industry, markets, families and communities.

Ms Zulu said government, through the 2021-2023 Economic Recovery Plan will recognize job creation outside of the formal sector into non-traditional areas such as agriculture, small scale manufacturing and mining.

She stated that accounts of increased cases of Gender Based Violence (GBV) in which some result in death and teenage pregnancies are just some of the social ills that have dominated the news in the recent past.

“The 2021 commemorations of International Women’s Day are like no other. COVID-19 has delivered home some hard truths: in the social space, women and girls have been more adversely affected by the pandemic,” she said.

Mrs Zulu said the pandemic is a call to action and women must have the opportunity to play a full role in shaping the pivotal decisions being made as Zambia responds to and recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

She highlighted that the pandemic has dramatically increased the poverty rate for women and widened the gap between men and women who live in poverty.

Mrs Zulu added that it is time to finally fully harness the power of women’s leadership to realize a more equal, more inclusive and more sustainable future.

Mrs said PMRC seeks to amplify women’s voices and promote their participation and leadership in public institutions, parliament and generally in the development space.

This year’s International Women’s Day is commemorated under the theme “Women in Leadership, Achieving an Equal Future in a COVID-19 World.”

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