MWAPE MWENYA, Chongwe
THE Non-Governmental Co-ordinating Council (NGOCC) executive director Egwase Mwale says the amended constitutional requirement for one to at least have a grade 12 certificate to qualify for political office, will enhance intellectualism that Zambia needs to develop.
Speaking in an interview, Ms Mwale said, however, Article 70 clause 2 (d) of the amended constitution has immediate disadvantages, especially for women who may want to contest in the forthcoming elections.
â€œIf we look at it in the positive way, the article will help in the social and economic development of the nation. This simply means that no-one will be left behind in terms of development because people will have a balanced understanding of national affairs,â€ Ms Mwale said.
She has since asked Government to play a pivotal role in providing equal education opportunities for both rural and urban communities.
Ms Mwale said people living in rural areas should also have access to quality and affordable education to motivate them to complete their education.
â€œThis should not leave out people living with disabilities because they also have a right to education and also to aspire for political office. Government should look at strategies that promote equality in service delivery,â€ she said.
She said Zambia is a signatory to various international treaties, which demand equity and equality provisions of education. Therefore, it is important that people are not deprived of the right to education.
Deputy Minister of Gender Dorothy Kazunga said Zambia is still making strides in attaining the SADC and African Union protocols of equal representation in decision-making positions.
â€œWe want to have a society that prioritises equal representation in decision-making positions. The President has set a good example by appointing many women in key decision-making positions. Government believes that men and women are equal partners in all spheres of development,â€ Ms Kazunga said.
Ms Kazungu was speaking when she officially opened a two-day national conference for 10 political parties themed, â€˜Putting women at the centre of 2016 general electionsâ€™.
The conference organised by the Ministry of Gender with financial support from the Department for International Development attracted over 100 participants from various political parties.
MWAPE MWENYA, Chongwe