CHOMBA MUSIKA, Lusaka
MINISTER of Defence Davies Chama has called on stakeholders championing national and global peace to involve women in their activities.
Mr Chama said women should not be left out in peace-building programmes because they play a crucial role in propagating love and unity.
He was speaking recently during the commemoration of the International Day of United Nations (UN) Peacekeepers held under the theme “Investing in peace”.
“To those investing in peace, we must ensure that women are fully represented in our peacekeeping efforts,” Mr Chama said.
He said this in response to UN resident coordinator Janet Rogan who, in a speech read for her by UNAIDS country director Medhin Tsehin, expressed concern that the role of women in peace negotiations has not been fully developed.
Ms Rogan said the inclusion of women in the governance system is a global necessity and fundamental investment to building lasting peace in societies.
She said the full representation of women in all peace operations and processes is a cornerstone to building lasting peace in societies.
She said women are inherent peacekeepers in their families, workplaces and their daily lives.
“We know that the womenfolk, more often than not, are the peacekeepers and the role of being peacekeepers is often taken for granted; it is not formalised,” Ms Rogan said.
She said: “Women are rarely in cabinet in war cabinets, or seated at the table in peace negotiations nor is the role of women in peace negotiations fully developed”.
Ms Rogan said women are disproportionately affected by conflict directly as victims and their families’ mainstay.
“Unforgivably, women have too often also become victims [of violence], additionally, at the hands of peacekeeping troops, who should have been protectors and providers of safe havens not sexual abusers and exploiters,” she said.