—First Lady, Esther Lungu, says women play an important role in enhancing peace and development in the nation.
Mrs Lungu said this when she addressed hundreds of women at Walamo Hall in Mpulungu yesterday.
She said there is need for concerted efforts in reducing challenges being faced by women and protect them from negative vices such as defilement, rape and Gender Based Violence (GBV) if the country is to progress.
Mrs Lungu also bemoaned the low levels of participation by women in economic programmes.
She noted that there was need for the introduction of more programmes aimed at the economic empowerment of women, especially those living in the rural areas.
Mrs Lungu also commended the people of Mpulungu for overwhelmingly voting for President Edgar Lungu in the recently held presidential poll.
On the disabled and vulnerable children, the First Lady called on all stakeholders to come on board and offer them protection.
Speaking when she addressed children at an orphanage run by Good News Missionaries in Mpulungu, Mrs Lungu said she was impressed that the orphanage was able to look after 125 orphans despite facing numerous challenges.
Earlier, school head teacher, Charles Mukampa, called for funding from well-wishers to optimise the operations of the children’s centre.
Mrs Lungu, who also met several women at the famous Ngwenya Market in Mpulungu will today continue her tour of Northern Province and is expected to visit women’s clubs and homes of orphaned and vulnerable children in Kasama district.
She is accompanied by former First Lady, Vera Tembo-Chiluba, some ministers’ spouses and PF officials from Lusaka.