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Women salute Lungu on female running mate

KELVIN CHONGO & LINDA NYONDO, Lusaka
THE Women’s Movement and the Professional Teachers Union of Zambia (PROTUZ) have commended President Lungu on his decision to have a female running mate in this year’s general elections.
Zambia National Women’s Lobby (ZNWL) board chairperson Beauty Katebe said the decision to pick a woman to be President Lungu’s running mate is a bold decision.
“The bold decision made by the President is yet another milestone in women’s ascendance to leadership positions in Zambia as it will consolidate the gains made in women’s attainment of top-tier leadership,” she said in a statement issued in Lusaka yesterday.
Ms Katebe said that the appointment of a female running mate will also improve the acceptance of women in high leadership positions, thereby paving the way for more women to attain even higher levels of leadership.
“We, therefore, thank President Lungu for this landmark decision and for continuing to lead by example in the cause for gender equality at decision- making level in Zambia,” said Ms Katebe.
She said ZNWL has noted with delight, other pronouncements on the adoption of women in this year’s general elections.
Ms Katebe said ZNWL is also pleased that the Patriotic Front (PF) has pledged to reserve 40 percent of all electable positions for female candidates.
She said it is the hope of the women’s movement that female politicians in the PF will take advantage of this opportunity.
“We further implore other political parties to also consider adopting more women at parliamentary and local government level,” she said.
Ms Katebe said the August 11, 2016 elections offer a unique opportunity for Zambia to bridge the gender gap in leadership and join the ranks of Rwanda and South Africa who are among the leading countries in the attainment of gender parity in the region.
Meanwhile, Lusaka PF mobilisation team chairperson Nigel Mpakateni said that his party is committed to the promotion of gender equality.
Mr Mpakateni said President Lungu has demonstrated commitment to work with women in the development process of the country.
And PROTUZ secretary general Abert Muyembe said President Lungu’s decision must be commended by all Zambians.
“It’s too much of men taking up senior positions as decision-makers. It makes sense to have a female as a running mate,’’ he said.
Mr Muyembe said President Lungu’s decision will create confidence in women leaders.

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