JIMMY CHIBUYE, Choma
THE United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) says Zambiaâ€™s HeForShe campaign is unique because it is not only an advocacy, but also a crusade aimed at changing mind sets, social values and norms of men on gender equality matters.
UNDP country director Martin Maya said during the opening of the Southern Province HeForShe campaign meeting yesterday that the campaign in Zambia seeks to change both institutional and individual behaviour for the promotion of gender equality.
The two-day HeForShe meeting will culminate into the launch of the campaign in Southern Province.
In June this year, the African Union (AU) awarded Zambia for recognising women in various economic spheres.
This recognition resulted in the United Nations (UN) appointing President Lungu as the promoter for the HeForShe campaign, which advocates gender equality and targeted at men that are gender-sensitive.
The programme was launched in Zambia by President Lungu in July this year under a localised theme â€œHarnessing leadership for gender equality in Zambia.â€
â€œThe intervention will target nurturing male leaders in Zambia in the three arms of government, the private sector, academia, the traditional leadership and faith-based organisations, so they can make a stand, raise their voices or gender equality issues,â€ Mr Maya said.
He congratulated ministries of Gender and, Chiefs and Traditional Affairs for the rolling out the programme to Eastern, Central and Copperbelt provinces.
Mr Maya said taking the campaign to provinces will build up the cadre of male leaders at provincial level to take a stand and action for promoting gender equality matters.
Southern Province deputy permanent secretary Douglas Ngimbu said the HeForShe campaign should serve as a reminder among the male folk in Southern Province that the struggle for gender equality requires full participation of both sexes.
Mr Ngimbu said all stakeholders should be engaged as agents of change for the achievement of gender equality and womenâ€™s rights.
â€œPublic and private institutions, the academia, faith-based organisations alike, should unite to address the concerns of women with regard to gender inequalities,â€ he said.
Mr Ngimbu said the campaign will bring to the fore the appreciation of centrality of gender equality as a means of achieving sustainable development.
JIMMY CHIBUYE, Choma