Gender equality is catalyst to attain Millenium Development Goals
Solwezi, March 9, ZANIS —–Non Governmental Organization Coordinating Council (NGOCC) Executive Director Engwase Mwale says addressing gender equality and women’s empowerment is central to the attainment of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on gender.
Speaking during the International Women’s Day Commemoration at Kimikanga community school in Lumwana East yesterday, Ms Mwale said it is sad that women continue to be victims of violence, with rape and domestic violence listed as significant causes of disability and death among women worldwide.
This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is ‘The Gender Agenda, Gaining Momentum.
She said three out of the eight MDGs namely promotion of gender equality, reduction of child mortality and improving maternal health represent a global commitment to addressing gender issues that affect women directly.
Ms Mwale said despite all odds against gender development, a great body of evidence now exists of good practices and lessons learned on successfully implementing the MDGs to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment.
Ms Mwale said it is encouraging that the government has recognized that meaningful development cannot take place without addressing the fundamental gender issues and particularly those of women’s empowerment that continue to constrain development.
She thanked Barrick Lumwana Mining Company (BLMC) for its commitment to addressing various challenges facing women in Solwezi through empowerment programmes.
Ms Mwale said progress has been made to protect and promote women’s rights.
She said achieving gender equality will require changes in attitudes, relationships, access to resources and decision making.
And BLMC Managing Director Boyd Timlar said the mining company appreciates the role that women play in national development hence its support to social and economic empowerment programmes.
Ms Timlar said the company supports the Nsabo Yetu women’s empowerment program that has so far mobilized substantial savings amounting to over KR 150,000 apart from the Agri- food industry.
And Chief Mumena of the Kaonde described people who look down on women in national development as primitive.
Chief Mumena said women play an important role in the development of communities.
Meanwhile, the traditional leader has advised women in his chiefdom to desist from marrying off their children at tender ages but encouraged them to complete school.