Gender equality Bill to promote rights

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Kaseba at COMESA Summit.6
Kaseba at COMESA Summit

WOMEN are said to be weaker vessels, yet their strength lies in the ability to ‘mother’ every human being and nurture what surrounds them.
In order for them to continue expanding their role, women need the support and recognition from those that have ‘power’, without discriminating them on account of gender.
Sadly, Gender and Child Development Minister, Inonge Wina has observed that gender inequalities in Zambia have continued to hamper women and girls from fully participating in national development.
For a long time now, calls and campaigns have been made aimed at recognising and appreciating women and girls, yet such pronouncements only go as far as set commemoration days.
The more days set to honour women and children come and go, a number of women remain in very awkward situations not because of anything else but because the playing field has never been level from time immemorial.
We hear good pronouncements and promotions to support women and girls on days like ‘Women’s day, Child rights’ day and Mothers’ day, yet very little is fulfilled beyond that.
Women in Zambia remain in the bracket of the most vulnerable and poorest even in the face of annual commemoration days.
What we see after such pronouncements are persistent gender inequalities which had led to women and children being denied their rights.
It is, therefore, a good move that the Government is in the process of formulating the Gender Equality Bill and the Children’s Code Bill, which would guide the State in promoting equality between men, women and children’s rights once passed into law.
With this law, inequalities that manifested in areas such as poverty where female-headed households continued to be poorer than their male counterparts would be addressed.
Statistics show that there were more young men than young women in secondary schools, colleges and universities, a move that condemned women getting into low-paying jobs.
We agree that in view of the said law, women would contribute meaningfully to the development of Zambia withstanding hurdles that hampered them.
By mooting such a law, Zambia being a member of the United Nations (UN) and party to several UN instruments would be fulfilling human rights that support women.
It is also in the same vein that First Lady Dr Christine Kaseba recently appealed for women to own land in Zambia without restrictions.
Dr Kaseba’s thought is an affirmation of President Michael Sata’s recognition that women could develop in their endeavours if they owned land.
In this pursuit, President Sata had directed the Ministry of Lands, Environment and Natural Resources to liaise with the Ministry of Gender and Child Development in a bid to help women own land.
With the Government in the process of formulating the Gender Equality Bill and the Children’s Code Bill, women would be secured and less vulnerable to gender-based violence.
There is no doubt that empowering girls and women is the only way through which the women folk could be afforded an opportunity to determine their own future.
With such a law, women and girls would be empowered to participate in national development.

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