Vice President Inonge Wina says government is committed to creating a conducive environment for women’s participation in attaining leadership positions in the country’s governance structures.
Mrs. Wina said government remains committed to ensuring that the country attains gender parity not only in key sectors such as education, agriculture including agribusiness, health and commerce but also in the political space.
Speaking a Virtual high-level dialogue under the theme “increasing women’s participation, the Vice President said government firmly believes that gender equality is a precursor to sustainable development and strongly encouraged more women to join politics.
“I stand here as an example of this commitment as the first female vice-president of the republic of Zambia”, she said.
Although Zambia has made strides in increasing women’s representation in parliament, having attained 19 percent representation in the 2016 general elections, the country still falls short of the regional average of 24 percent.
Furthermore Zambia falls short of the 50/50 gender parity required by the southern Africa development community protocol on gender and development and the African union agenda 2063.
“ As the country aspires for greater heights in attaining gender equality, participation levels are still very low especially that women account for more than 50 percent of the population, “ hinted the Vice President.
Stressing that the distortions need to be addressed within the shortest time possible, the Vice President has since called for affirmative action as dependence on the first-past-the–post in elections will not yield positive results in the short to medium term.
Mrs. Wina noted that women are not asking for favours, but an opportunity to share leadership and democratic views at the same table with men.
She further added that women and men can work together to contribute equally to the advancement and strengthening of good governance and democracy through the institutionalization of gender equality and embracing diversity in all aspects of political and social life.
United Nations resident coordinator Coumba Mar Gardio has commended government for measures it has put in place in order to end gender-based violence in Zambia.
Ms. Gardio stated that there is need for concerted efforts in order to have tangible results in the fight against Gender Based Violence at all levels.
She said there is need to explore ways to stop violence against women in the coming elections.
And United Nations Deputy Secretary Amina Mohammed called for equal participation and social protection policies for women across the continent.
Ms. Mohammed said equal participation and social protection policies will lead to sustained peace as women continue to be disadvantaged.
She added that political parties must support women and end stereotypes.
And former President of Liberia Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said a lot more needs to be done in order to achieve gender equality.
Ms. Sirleaf noted that all women should be allowed to operate in an environment that protects and assures of security.