THE Local Government Service Commission (LGSC) has made a deliberate policy to balance the gender proportion in decision-making positions in local authorities in line with the SADC protocol on gender.
Commissioner Margaret Kaphiya said since their appointment in 2012, the LGSC has increased the number of women principal officers from three to 17 in the 103 councils countrywide.
Ms. Kaphiya said in 2012 there were only three principal officers from 73 districts, but that to date there are 17 female principal officers in 103 districts representing a 10 per cent increase from only four per cent in 2012.
“We are trying to place more female principal officers to head councils countrywide. When we were just appointed in 2012, we found only three principal officers heading councils, currently we have 17.
“We are doing this in line with the SADC protocol on gender. We are following the Government’s adopted SADC protocol on gender to balance up in all the 103 local authorities in Zambia,” Ms. Kapihya said.
She said in trying to bring gender parity, the LGSC has also started placing professionals in respective positions in local authorities.
“We are working towards the 50 per cent gender representation in decision making positions. We are giving equal opportunities to all and we are placing professionals in their correct positions.
We are also giving opportunity to the differently-abled in society such as the hearing-impaired and the physically challenged,” Ms. Kaphiya said.
She said the case was different previously especially in rural areas because councils were recruiting officers basing on the ability to pay.
Ms. Kaphiya said the decentralisation of the local authorities has brought about a lot of benefits to the 103 districts because it has also created employment for the local people.
“The decentralisation policy has brought about a lot of benefits in new districts which are the focal points for development by provision of jobs for the communities”.