Finish envoy bemoans poor women participation in Zambian politics

Perti Antiinen
Perti Antiinen
Finish Ambassador to Zambia, Perti Antiinen has bemoaned the poor participation of women in politics in Zambia.

Speaking during a media briefing in Lusaka today for send off of five female politicians to Finland for a nine days learning experience of that country’s political system, Mr. Anttinen notes that at local government level, only 6 percent of councilors are women, while at national level, women representation is at 11.4 percent.

Mr. Anttinen says during the exchange visit, the Zambian delegation will visit the Finish Parliament to hear about the success of the network of women in Finland’s parliament and their work across party lines.

He says the delegation will learn about the good practices of local governance from various actors, and will visit various organizations and public bodies working on gender equality.

Mr Anttinen is hopeful that the visit will provide a platform for Zambian female politicians to acquaint themselves with the Finish democratic system.

Speaking at the same event, Zambia National Women’s Lobby Board Chairperson, Beauty Katebe, noted that women in Zambia have continued to be under-represented in both political leadership and administration at the local level.

Ms Katebe says currently, only eighty four (84) out of one thousand three hundred and eighty two (1, 382) local government councilors elected in the 2011 general elections are women, representing a 6.1 percent.

She says it is from this background that her organization partnered with political parties in Finland such as Finland for Democracy and Demo Finland to spearhead the training and building of capacity of councilors in Choma, Kabwe, Kapiri Mposhi, Lusaka and Mpika.

And speaking on behalf of the women politicians who are travelling to Finland, Dorothy Mambwe, says the visit will accord them an opportunity to learn more on democracy and women’s participation in politics so as to increase cross-party collaboration both at local government level and national level.

Demo Finland and the Zambia National Women’s Lobby with funding from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland; have organized an exchange visit for Zambian female politicians from PF, MMD, UPND and UNIP to Finland for nine days where they will learn about promoting women’s political participation.