EU states commend Lungu

EUROPEAN Union (EU) member states have commended President Lungu for his commitment towards women’s empowerment and the HeForShe campaign.
Speaking at a press briefing to mark the International Day on Elimination of Violence against Women, German ambassador to Zambia Bernd Finke said the recent appointment of President Lungu as promoter for the HeForShe campaign, a United Nations women’s movement for gender equality, shows his political will towards women’s empowerment.
The United Nations appointed President Lungu as promoter of the campaign in recognition of his contribution and commitment to women’s empowerment.
The German ambassador said despite the appointment, Zambia has a lot to do in eliminating cases of inequalities against women and girls.
“We are happy with President Lungu’s commitment in empowering Zambian women as well as his commitment to the campaign, but a lot has to be done in eliminating cases of gender-based violence (GBV) against women and girls in Zambia,” he said.
Mr Finke said there is need for a holistic approach to addressing GBV, which is one of the worst violations of human rights.
And Swedish ambassador to Zambia Henrik Cederin said gender inequality hampers development in Zambia and other developing countries.
Mr Cederin said political will exhibited by President Lungu needs the support of all co-operating partners.
He said Sweden is supporting women’s political participation and community leadership through the provision of grants to organisations that deal with women issues.
And Finnish ambassador to Zambia Timo Olkkonen said statistics show that more than half of the women in Zambia’s population encounter violence.
Mr Olkkonen said Zambia has made remarkable progress towards elimination of GBV, but a lot more needs to be done.
And acting British High Commissioner to Zambia Lucy Joyce said Zambia needs to increase shelters for the survivors of GBV.
Ms Joyce said survivors of GBV face a lot of trauma after the incident, hence the need for a guaranteed shelter for them and their children.

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