Zambia Bureau of Standards: HAZEL ZULU
INTERNATIONAL Womenâ€™s Day takes place tomorrow, March 8, 2016, and the theme for this year is â€˜Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equalityâ€.
In a statement released by the United Nations (UN), the theme will equally focus on new commitments under the UN Womenâ€™s Step It Up initiative, and other existing commitments on gender equality, womenâ€™s empowerment and womenâ€™s human rights.
As a national standards body, we are proud to be associated with this day because we have a clear message for all our women in this country. We all know that when you educate a woman, you educate a nation, and it is for this reason, dear reader, that we want to focus our attention to the women today.
We want to pay a special tribute to all women, starting from the housewife at household level, to the entrepreneur and the woman in the corporate world. And beyond that we want to remember the girl child who will soon grow up to be a woman.
I want to remind you dear women that the Zambia Bureau of Standards (ZABS) is your national standards body whose mandate is to develop national standards and ensure their implementation. ZABS also provides conformity assessment services such as testing laboratories to ensure that the products that are produced meet and even exceed set standards.
In celebrating this yearâ€™s International Womenâ€™s Day, ZABS, together with its parent ministry, the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry, and other statutory bodies, organised a series of meetings with women and other groups to educate them about the various products and services that the ministry offers.
The activities started off with a visit to Buseko market in Lusakaâ€™s Matero area. Yes, you read correctly, Buseko market! The focus was to target traders, particularly those who trade in timber, and sensitise them about the services that the ministry offers.
The interaction was fruitful as all the statutory bodies explained their mandates and showcased to the traders how best they could access all the ministryâ€™s services to better their businesses.
Of course our key message as a bureau was to inform traders that we have a standard for timber in Zambia and therefore it is important that they understand the general requirements and specifications of the standard.
On Monday, the team will proceed to talk to traders in agriculture in Chongwe. For the bureau, the message is to remind food processors and other entrepreneurs in agriculture to incorporate standards in product development and to also practise good agricultural and manufacturing practices.
The bigger event will take place in Lusaka tomorrow where we will have a carnival show which will comprise an exhibition. And I want to extend an open invitation to all members of the public; join us as we celebrate International Womenâ€™s Day and learn more about the services that you can access from the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry and all its statutory bodies, namely Zambia Development Agency (ZDA), Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC), ZABS, Patents and Companies Registration Agency (PACRA), Zambia Weights and Measures Agency (ZWMA) and the Competition Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC).
As a bureau, we wish all the women out there and, of course, the men, a Happy Womenâ€™s Day, but more so we want to remind every woman to be an ambassador in standardisation and quality issues.
Women should take the lead in ensuring that they demand for quality products by taking time to read product details whenever they go out there to buy various household goods.
Women, remember that you have the power to drive the market and consequently fight the quality battle. Happy Womenâ€™s Day, women of Zambia.
The author is Head – Marketing and Public Relations
For more information
Contact the Director
Zambia Bureau of Standards
Lechwe House, Freedom Way
P O Box 50259, Lusaka
Zambia Bureau of Standards: HAZEL ZULU