CECILIA ZULU, Lusaka
AFRICAN Union (AU) commissioner for social affairs Amira Elfadil has commended President Edgar Lungu for taking a leading role in
championing fight against child marriage through participation of women in sports.
And Ministry of Youth, Sport and Child Development permanent secretary Agnes Musunga said Government will ensure sport becomes a professional industry that will contribute to national development through the creation of employment.
Speaking at the official opening of a capacity building seminar for women in sports administration at Golden Peacock Hotel in Lusaka yesterday, Elfadil said President Lungu has partnered with other African heads of state to fight the vice through participation of women in sports.
She said the AU recognises gender equality and women empowerment.
The commissioner said these are not only fundamental human rights but also essential ingredients for sustainable development.
Elfadil said sports programmes can empower women to take control over their lives.
“Working together as Governments, the private sector and communities, we can ensure that gatherings such as this [the seminar] should come out with clear and concrete action plans to take leadership of women in sport in Africa to another level.
“There is no doubt that by providing women and girls with a voice in programme design, decision making, training and opportunities for leadership and advocacy, sports programmes can also empower them to take greater control over their own lives,” Elfadil said.
She has called for support towards women in sports administration.
“Girls and young women are part of that youth bulge that we must invest in, and sports provide that avenue to do so. By 2023, we want to empower women through participation in sports,” she said.
And in a speech read for her by Ministry of Gender permanent secretary Edwidge Mutale, Musunga said Government wants to empower women to ensure equity and equality in the developmental process.
The two-day seminar has attracted participants from Rwanda, Namibia and hosts Zambia among others.