By CHRISTINE CHISHA
GOVERNMENT says it will continue partnering with the Church to narrow gender gaps.
Minister of Defence Edgar Lungu said Government appreciates the role the Church plays in improving the living standards of Zambians.
â€œWe remain committed to support any activity that is aimed at uplifting the living standards of our people.
â€œIt is sad that in the recent past, we have seen an increase in cases of early pregnancies and child marriages,â€ he said.
Mr Lungu said early pregnancies and child marriage have increased because of the vulnerability of young women and girls and that this can only be checked if they are economically empowered.
He was speaking in Lusaka on Friday during a fundraising gala dinner for the Zambia Catholic Womenâ€™s League (ZCWL) at Lusakaâ€™s Mulungushi International Conference Centre.
The ZCWL was also celebrating 50 years of existence in Zambia.
Mr Lungu said government has been keenly following the activities of the ZCWL which have been of great value to the communities and the country.
He said government also appreciates the Catholic Church for its continued role to compliment government efforts in the provision of health and education, especially in rural areas.
Mr Lungu is happy that as part of its celebrations, the ZCWL will construct a skills centre for vulnerable young women and girls in Kapiri Mposhi.
He pledged K20,000 towards the construction of the skills centre.
Mr Lungu said a skills centre is vitally important, especially that it is aimed at addressing the vulnerability of young women and girls.
Meanwhile, Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation reports that Minister of Justice Wynter Kabimba says Government considers the Church as a formidable partner in its effort to deliver social and economic development.
Speaking during a United Church of Zambia Lusaka Presbytery Womenâ€™s Christian Fellowship Annual Conference in Kafue yesterday, Mr Kabimba said the Churchâ€™s effort coincides with President Sataâ€™s vision to uplift the living conditions of women and the general citizenry.
Mr Kabimba said the PF administration is supportive of gender matters, a decision proven by President Sataâ€™s appointment of women to senior government positions.
Mr Kabimba, who is also PF Secretary General, said the Church is at the centre of unity and peace in the country.
He said Government appreciates the role the Church plays in the provision of education and health services.
He said Government is happy with the cordial relations it is enjoying with the Church.
By CHRISTINE CHISHA