Chipata, March 8, ZANIS———————–Mines, Energy and Water Development
Minister Christopher Yaluma says government will soon start
implementing a rural empowerment programme to help address financial
challenges among women.
Mr. Yaluma said the partnership programme between the Ministries of
Gender and Child Development and Chiefs and Traditional Affairs will
also address the challenges of teenage pregnancies among other issues.
Mr. Yaluma said this when he officiated at the International Women’s Day
commemoration in Chipata today.
He disclosed that government has engaged other stakeholders like
the World Bank which has since agreed to release funds to
support the programme.
Mr. Yaluma stated that government is ready to promote gender equality
as outlined in the 2014 National Gender Policy which states that
Cabinet takes lead in ensuring that men and women are given equal
opportunities to realize their potential to succeed without
discrimination or abuse.
He stated that President Edgar Lungu has demonstrated that women
should also hold high positions in decision making by appointing the
first ever female Vice President Inonge Wina.
The Minister urged men to support the gender agenda saying women
should not be left alone to fight for gender equality saying it is
time men accepted the responsibility to make it happen.
Mr Yaluma noted that the theme ‘Gender is my Agenda: Make it happen’
reflects the need for every citizen to take gender matters seriously.
“The theme is also an acknowledgement that while existing in order to
create an environment for gender equality to happen, it remains to
all of us as individuals to take personal effort towards making gender
equality a reality, and this starts from our homes and institutions,”
He noted that women’s challenges are due to lack of interest,
socialization and society norms saying most men still hold the view
that gender issues are for women alone saying there is need for unity
in the fight against gender inequalities.
Mr Yaluma said women’s activism remains critical to making progress
and that statistics show that the control of power in many countries
including Zambia is among the male folk.
He stated that as a result poverty has a female face, women and girls
have lower literacy levels and that teenage or unwanted pregnancies
are some of the biggest challenges in the country.
He noted that early or forced marriages stand at 42 percent and that
Gender Based Violence (GBV) is posing a threat in the country.
And Eastern Province Minster Malozo Sichone said there is need to give
credit to women for the work they do and the successes they have
Meanwhile, Energy and Water Development Deputy Minister Charles Zulu
urged people in the province to remain united beyond tribal lines.
Mr Zulu said there is need to support oneness as Zambians are one people
despite differences in tribe, region and religion.
He also stressed the need to support women to enable them succeed
in their endeavours saying they should also work hard.
In a vote of thanks Eastern Province Regional Coordinator for Young
Women Christian Association (YWCA) Dorothy Ndhlovu called on
government to expedite the programme of establishing drop in centres
in all provinces in order to create safe havens for Gender Based
Ms. Ndhlovu said by doing so many cases of GBV will be eliminated by
providing long time protection to the victims.
She further thanked government for its continued support towards
programmes aimed at achieving gender equity.