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State urged to streamline women empowerment policies

STEVEN MVULA, Lusaka
The Non-Governmental Organisation Coordinating Council (NGOCC) has urged Government to streamline and harmonise the various empowerment policies and laws to ensure more women and girls benefit.
NGOCC gender policy analyst Maureen Zulu said the starting point is to enact a constitution that has an expanded Bill of Rights.
Ms Zulu was speaking in Mansa during a dissemination of a report on empowerment laws and policies for women and girls.
This is according to a statement availed to the Daily Mail on Friday.
“That’s why, as a women’s movement, we have been advocating the enactment of the new constitution with an expanded bill of Rights that will guarantee social, economic and cultural rights,” Ms Zulu said.
She said while Zambia had some progressive laws and policies tailored to empower women and girls, these are inadequate.
Ms Zulu said one of the major reasons why women are not benefiting from policies and laws, is that most women are not aware about the empowerment policies.
“The other day the minister complained that these funds are not being accessed. We think the major problem has been the lack of information and to some extent the requirements demanded to access these funds,” Ms Zulu said.
And speaking at the same meeting NGOCC advocacy officer Whitney Mulobela said Government empowerment of women is critical to national development.
Mr Mulobela said there is need for Government to deliberately target women, especially those in rural areas.
And making a presentation on the report Women in Law in Southern Africa representative Matrine Hazyondo said according to their findings, women have difficulties in applying for and accessing funds from the Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health and other ministries because of the stringent requirements.
Ms Hazyondo, however, recognised that Zambia has in place positive laws and policies which if well implemented would help in the empowerment of women.



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