Gender Gender

Women urged to claim own rights

SHIKANDA KAWANGA, Lusaka
VARIOUS women’s rights organisations from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) have called on women to claim their rights by fully participating in the various social protection programmes provided by both public and private sectors.
Women should be available to benefit from all social protection programmes at their disposal as they are meant to empower the vulnerable.
This is according to a joint statement by Non-Governmental Gender Organisations Coordinating Council (Zambia), Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe), Women’s Legal and Resource Centre (Malawi),
Lifeline/Childline (Namibia), and Botswana Council of Non-Governmental Organisations (Botswana).
The regional women’s organisations called on Governments to put in place policy measures that would enhance women’s access to social security mechanism.
“They have called on Governments to enforce, review and update laws and policies to ensure women’s equal representation and participation in leadership positions of social protection governance structures,” the statement reads in part.
The women organisations also called on civil society, trade unions and development partners to invest and ensure women’s equal participation and inclusion in social protection intervention design and implementation.
The organisations also urged the private sector to ensure that their business models are risk averse towards women and their corporate social responsibility resources are channelled to address social protection risks that women are exposed to.
The women’s organisations have urged the media as a key player to ensure that they undertake public awareness on women-centred social protection mechanisms and visibility of women leaders working in social protection systems.
“Women should take up leadership opportunities, assert, claim, enjoy and defend their rights and fully participate in social protection governance structures at all levels,” the statement reads

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