-First Lady dedicates UN appointment to Zambia

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—-First Lady, Christine Kaseba-Sata, has dedicated her recent appointment as Good Will Ambassador for Gender Based Violence (GBV) against women and girls by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to Zambia.

Mrs Kaseba-Sata says while she feels highly honoured and recognized world-over for her fight against GBV in particular and women’s rights in general, she will dedicate her appointment to the Zambian Government and all partners engaged in the fight.

“I am very grateful and indebted to the government for the commitment it has shown so far. Tribute goes to international co-operating partners including the UNDP and, locally, the media and the civil society that have partnered with government in this noble programme.

She pledged to use her new position as Good Will Ambassador against GBV to open more doors to add her voice to raise awareness on the vice, and emphasized that she would be more concerned about women whose rights are infringed in countries where there is conflict.

The First Lady was speaking in an exclusive interview with the Zambia News and Information Services (ZANIS) in New York today yestrday.

Mrs Kaseba-Sata said as a model, she would use Zambia as an example for enacting the Anti-Gender Violence Act in 2011 and removing the infamous discriminatory Article 23 from the current draft Constitution which allowed discrimination in matters of personal law.

The First Lady said she would consider the call by a Nigerian gynecologist and obstetrician attending the 5th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women at the UN headquarters who suggested that she uses her new title to mobilise all gynecologists and obstetricians worldwide so that they find a way how they could help fight GBV.

Mrs Kaseba-Sata added that it she was considering meeting the youth to discuss with them  matters of gender based violence in a bid to create more awareness on their rights and highlight to them the impact of GBV.

She further appealed to men to change their mind set and start considering women as partners, not as tools or inferior human beings that are meant to be beaten and abused at will, saying women are supposed to be dignified as mothers and fellow human beings.

Mrs Kaseba-Sata, who is in New York for the 57th Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women, said she expected the gathering to send a voice to governments to evaluate what they have done about GBV following the many conventions and charters that had been signed before.

“It is time to walk the talk. Governments must now see what they have done and plan ahead on what more needs to be done about GBV. Each government must start measuring tangible progress that should stand as evidence of commitment to the vice,” she said.

The First Lady hoped that at the end of the session she also expected to see governments pledging more money towards the promotion of women’s rights and women empowerment.

Mrs Kaseba-Sata has been at the United Nations in New York at the invitation World Health Organisation as its Good Will Ambassador for Gender Based Violence and women’s rights.