Enter politics, Kapata urges women


MINISTER of Arts and Tourism Jean Kapata has called on women to take advantage of constitutional provisions to enhance their participation in politics.
The member of Parliament for Mandevu said the Constitution emphasises on the equal worth of men and women, and the need for gender equity and equality.
Speaking during the Non-Governmental Organisation Co-ordinating Council (NGOCC) International Women’s Day community sensitisation programme in Lusaka yesterday, Mrs Kapata pointed out that the number of women in politics largely depends on the ability of women to step out and offer themselves for leadership.
This year’s International Women’s Day’s theme is ‘Planet 50/50 by 2030: step it up for gender equality’.
“This theme calls us as a nation to action to ensure that we achieve gender equality for all. I’m happy that Government under the leadership of President Edgar Lungu had set a solid foundation for gender equality,” Ms Kapata said.
And NGOCC board chairperson Sara Longwe called on the Ministry of Gender and Child Development to quickly realign the recently passed Gender Equity and Equality Bill to the amended Constitution.
Ms Longwe said: “Government must provide an independent and autonomous gender equity and equality commission that will be charged with the responsibility of ensuring that gender is mainstreamed in both private and public sectors.”
She has also expressed concern that this year’s general elections pose a challenge to female aspirants owing to the low numbers of women in politics, with only 13 percent of members of Parliament, six percent councillors and 24 percent cabinet ministers.

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