Sata acknowledges PF government’s promotion of gender equality
Livingstone, March 8, ZANIS———President Michael Sata says the coming into power of the Patriotic Front (PF) has accelerated the promotion of gender equality and participation of women in decision making at high levels.
President Sata said Zambia could now boast of being among the top countries in the world to have appointed a woman to head law and order as the case was with the appointment of the first female Inspector General of Police in the country which he described as a land mark achievement for the PF.
He further said more women had been appointed in the Judiciary and other institutions to oversee decision making at the highest level.
President Sata said this in a speech read for him by Ministry of Health Deputy Minister Christopher Mulenga during the commemoration of International Women’s Day celebrations at Livingstone’s Villa Grounds today.
This year’s International Women’s Day was celebrated under the theme: “The Gender Agenda, gaining momentum”.
President Sata said the theme was relevant to Zambia as it recognized achievements made over the years in promoting gender equality while acknowledging that there were efforts being made at national, provincial and district level meant to end violence against women and to empower them.
He also stated that innovations had been initiated to promote the rights and welfare of women and girls.
President Sata acknowledged that government was aware of the many challenges that women faced in social and economic development.
He said it was for this reason that there was need to reverse such trends in all sectors by all stakeholders through acting together to uplift the status of women as this could not be done without active participation of women at all levels.
President Sata said it was against this background that the country had reason to celebrate the achievements of women while remaining vigilant that the momentum gained could be lost if government and stakeholders became complacent in their actions and service delivery.
President Sata also charged that government was working hard to address the challenges that women faced through programs such as the Women Economic Empowerment Fund under the Ministry of Gender and Child Development which was based on local needs of people.
He said under the new approach, the Ministry, was empowering women with oxen, ploughs, ox carts for farming and transporting of produce, poultry equipment and hammer mills among other things to improve their incomes and enhance food security at household levels.
President Sata commended parliament for allocating more resources to the Ministry of Gender and Child Development in this year’s budget as it has allowed more women’s clubs to be formed resulting in more women benefitting from the program.
And Mr Mulenga condemned opposition political parties for shunning the event as it was non partisan.
Earlier Non Governmental Coordinating Council NGOCC Southern Province Representative Dorothy Velemu commended the Patriotic Front government for tabulating ways of enhancement of women empowerment under the social sector in its party manifesto.
Mrs Velemu noted that the PF manifesto went a step further by pledging to implement various protocols to enhance women empowerment.
She said this was a move in the right direction but urged government through the leadership of President Sata to fast track the implementation of its campaign promises to prevent them from just being lip service to the people of Zambia.
Mrs Velemu also called on government to make defilement a non bail- able offence and to increase the sentencing power of the magistrates to help in the dispensation of justice in such cases.