———-Government says there was need for every Zambian to take serious personal efforts towards making gender equality a reality.
Deputy Minister of Home Affairs Panji Kaunda noted that the theme “Gender is My Agenda: Make it Happen,” reflected the need for every person to commit themselves to take gender matters seriously starting from homes and institutions.
Col. Kaundu pointed out that the neglect of women’s issues was mainly due to lack of interest, social norms and other traditional traits that hold the view that gender issues are for women only.
Col. Kaunda said this during the commemoration of the International Women’s Day whose Theme was, “Gender is My Agenda: Make it Happen”.
“This theme reflect the need for every citizen to take gender matters seriously and it is also an acknowledgement that while existing policies, laws and institutions need strengthening in order to create an environment for gender equality to be achieved, it also remains for all of us to take personal efforts towards making gender equality a reality starting from our homes and institutions,” said Col. Kaunda.
He also observed that the family unit was a cornerstone to achieving gender equality and sustainable development among both men and women.
However, Col. Kaunda said it was feasible to change the scenario in Zambia by drawing from countries like Rwanda which is among the leading countries in the world in promoting gender equality in decision making with especially at parliamentary level.
According to the World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Gender Gap Report 2014, Rwanda has about 64 per cent of parliamentary seats occupied by women.
But Col. Kaunda said on its part, government has made some major strides in promoting gender equality through appointment of women in key government positions, implementation several programmes including, addressing poverty especially among rural women through various women empowerment programmes.
And International Women’s Day Organising Committee Chairperson Muleya Mukachongo praised President Lungu for appointing Ms Wina as the first female Vice president in the history of the country.
Ms Mukachongo said this was a clear drive by government to expedite the achievement of gender equality.
Meanwhile, Monze District Commissioner Biggie Mwiinde thanked the government for not, ‘deviating’ from late President Michael Sata’s vision to bring development to all parts of the country.