Spearhead HeForShe campaign, chiefs urged

SOUTHERN Province permanent secretary Sibanze Simuchoba has urged chiefs to guide the HeForShe campaign on people’s attitude towards polygamy.
The HeForShe is a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)- sponsored campaign that advocates gender equality and targets men.
And Southern Province has become the fourth province after Eastern, Central and Copperbelt where the campaign has been launched.
Speaking during the launch on Saturday, Mr Simuchoba said polygamy is a thorny and sensitive topic in Southern Province but traditional leaders should guide campaigners because the gender equality campaign targets such matters.
“I challenge the chiefs not to shy away from this issue because we need your guidance on what attitude we should adopt regarding polygamy in our province as it borders on gender equality,” he said.
Mr Simuchoba said chiefs are respectable leaders in society and their guidance on polygamy would carry more weight.
He urged chiefs to consider the tradition of polygamy seriously because the gender equality campaign opposes the traditional practice.
And Southern Province minister Nathaniel Mubukwanu hopes the launch of the campaign will foster exchange study visits between traditional leaders on matters relating to gender equality.
In a speech read for him by Mr Simuchoba, he said the chiefs’ participation in the gender equality campaign is important because of its impact on sustainable development.
“The chiefs’ participation in the HeForShe campaign is key because of the respect and traditional authority that their royal highnesses command. As such, whatever you say attracts serious attention,” he said.
UNDP country director Martim Maya congratulated the chiefs on standing up for gender equality by attending the workshop.
Chieftainess Choongo said the HeForShe campaign will promote peace and gender equality among elderly couples but the young ones as well.
Chief Moyo hopes the HeForShe campaign will culminate into Zambia producing a female president in future.
Chief Simwatachela said the campaign will create a conducive environment for development because it will foster the collaboration between men and women.
The HeForShe campaign was first launched in Eastern Province by President Lungu in July under a localised theme: “Harnessing leadership for gender equality in Zambia.”
In June this year, the African Union awarded Zambia for recognising women in various economic spheres.
This recognition resulted in the United Nations appointing President Lungu as the promoter for the HeForShe campaign.

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