Editor's Comment

Women deserve more

YET again it is time for an honest reflection on if, individually and collectively, women are being given the due respect, support and space they deserve.
As Zambia commemorates the International Women’s Day today, the reflection must go beyond the many events that are lined up to mark the occasion.
More importantly, the reflection must trigger the right reactions to ensure that the gaps are filled, the shortcomings are overcome and the hurdles scaled.
This day provides an opportunity to take cognisance of contributions women make in the welfare of families, communities and nations at large.
In the traditional or conservative belief where it is deemed to be a man’s world, the world is reminded that it needs to address this stereotype by promoting gender equity and equality.
Therefore, Women’s Day serves as one of the days during which all right-thinking people seek to recognise the various contributions of the women-folk.
This is a day for celebrating the equality of women in spheres that include politics, the corporate world and social circles.
This is partly why men and boys join the commemoration of this important day. Mothers, wives, sisters, aunties and friends are, or should, be accepted.
Women are equal partners in our daily lives.
More opportunities need to be fairly created for the girl-child so that disparities in responsibility sharing can be narrowed.
However, much as enlightened women will be celebrating this day, there are thousands out there, especially in the peri-urban and rural areas of the country, who do not know about it and don’t even understand that the day exists.
The few educated women who know about it have taken it to mean that it is their rest day and men should work for them while they rest.
Others take it grumblingly saying it does not mean anything.
Yet, world over governments have made huge strides in addressing women’s issues.
Since the Fourth World Conference on Women, also known as the Beijing Declaration in 1995, a lot has been achieved and Zambia is a model in giving power to the women.
There are several women holding influential positions in Government at various levels, starting with the second highest office in the land, the vice-presidency, to some key Cabinet positions such as Ministry of Finance, including lofty positions such as chief justice, among others.
But more still needs to be done to help women move out of their cocoon and play a more meaningful role in the country’s socio-economic development in line with this year’s theme: #PressforProgress — a push for gender parity worldwide.
While focus is on Government to level the playing field, women should move beyond advocacy to action.
For instance, educated, rich and politically successful women should act as role models to the girl-child. They should show the young that success is not only a preserve of men or a few privileged women. Anyone from any background can succeed so long they have faith and believe in their abilities.
Some women are the biggest obstacles to their own progress because they rarely support one another in uplifting their welfare.


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