Editor's Comment

All should fight gender inequality

ZAMBIA Daily Mail staff during the commemoration at Show Grounds in Lusaka yesterday. PICTURE: CHONGO SAMPA

GOVERNMENT has put in place a number of interventions to empower women, especially those in rural areas, to address the critical challenges that they face.
Interventions include the project called Girls Education and Women Empowerment and Livelihoods, supported by the World Bank, targeted to empower women and to support girls in rural areas with school requirements in order to keep them in school.
There is also the programme for eliminating child marriages in Zambia and offering scholarships to child marriage survivors, with the ultimate goal of ending poverty and hunger in Africa, supported by Brazil, India and South Africa.
Government, with support from the European Union, is implementing a programme to fight sexual and gender-based violence in Northern and Luapula provinces targeted to empower women and to support schoolgirls in rural areas.
Government is implementing the agricultural development and value chain enhancement programme by providing agricultural equipment to chiefdoms to support women’s cooperatives to improve agricultural productivity.
Further, Government has procured solar-powered drip irrigation equipment, solar-powered incubators and pellet-making machines to enhance enterprise diversification among women’s cooperatives.
President Edgar Lungu said yesterday that with this approach, Zambia will be able to achieve its objectives with the support of cooperating partners who have already demonstrated profound willingness to support the country in this development agenda.
It is clear that most interventions are either donor-sponsored or funded by the treasury.
To address gender inequalities and empowerment of women and girls, there is need to get the full participation of local players at individual and corporate levels.
Therefore, leaders at all levels – corporate, religious, sports, traditional and marriage counselors – should join hands with Government to ensure that they address gender inequalities and empower women and girls.
Corporates should emulate Government by promoting gender equity through an open and balanced employment and training policy.
Government has several women serving in various roles. Through the Ministry of Higher Education, it has a robust training programme for young people.
Government grants scholarships to vulnerable young people to study in public institutions and the girl-child is encouraged to apply.
Some of the most senior positions in the Government are held by women, for instance the position of Vice-President.
Much as Government is committed to driving the agenda for addressing gender inequalities, citizens should join in any way they can.
For instance, every working person comes from a village or community where they should aspire to see to it that there are equal opportunities for boys and girls, men and women.
Corporates and the Church too can help by empowering boys and girls with life-changing skills.
They need to categorise them into respective groups according to their levels of capabilities to execute assignments.
Respect, fairness and support to every human being are important steps towards well-rounded development.
God has given every human being a different skillset or talent, and women are no exception. When every person is respected, then they can learn more and apply their learning for the benefit of organisations, families and the nation.
There is need to provide equal opportunities and support to everyone.
The overall objective of gender equality is to achieve a society in which women and men, and boys and girls enjoy the same rights, same opportunities and responsibilities in all spheres of their lives.
Gender equality is a right. It is intrinsically linked to sustainable development and vital for realising human rights for all.

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