GOVERNMENTS across the globe must endeavouwr to promote gender equality and must not scare women from participating in national affairs by condoning political violence, UPND president Hakainde Hichilema has said.
In his message to the women across the globe, Mr Hichilema said the world would never be a good place to live in without the immense contribution of women in the emancipation of many countries in the world.
Mr Hichilema said women deserved their right place in society and there was need for Governments to come up with deliberate policies that would promote the participation of women in social, economic and political affairs of their countries without any form of hindrance.
He however said it was unfortunate that while many countries were making strides in promoting equal participation of women in national affairs, a culture of brutalizing, defiling and maiming women was growing in Zambia.
He said the UPND was deeply concerned with the increasing incidences of violence against women both at domestic and political levels and called on the leadership of the PF Government to continue condemning brutality that was being perpetrated by the ruling party.
He told the Daily Nation that Zambians women should be honoured for the role they had been playing in the social and economic development of the country because without them, Zambia was not going to be what it was today.
He said although Zambia had known peace in the last 50 years, most of the freedoms and rights that go with an independent and democratic country had been taken away by a leadership that did not believe in divergent views.
“The world must begin to give women their right place in all sectors of human endeavour. The women of the world have immensely contributed to what the world has become today and we must stop scaring them from participating in national affairs such as politics. It is unfortunate that our politics are promoting violence and our women fear to be brutalized and are not exercising their full rights. In Zambia, women played a critical role in the fight for our independence but we are now brutalizing them both at domestic and political level and this must be stopped because it is morally not correct to dehumanize our mothers,” Mr Hichilema said.
Mr Hichilema said it was disheartening that the worst victim of gender based violence had remained the girl child who had been denied access to quality education because of the poor policies of Government.
Mr Hichilema said women in Zambia were being beaten and chased from public places such as markets and bus stations on account of their political association, adding that it was the hope of the UPND that such vices could be eradicated by the political party in power.