Non Governmental Organisations Coordinating Council (NGOCC) and the Zambia National Women’s Lobby (ZNWL) is meeting various political parties to try and influence the adoption of more women into elective positions for the forthcoming tripartite and subsequent elections.
And the recent appointment of more women into key and various positions of decision making under President Edgar Lungu has cheered the NGOCC and the organisation says so far all the women that have been appointed have performed exceptionally well.
During a meeting to study various parties’ adoption processes and challenges faced by female candidates which was held at the NGOCC board room in Kabwe the participants drawn from various political parties contributed that it was important to have more women adopted as councillors, parliamentarians and party presidents. The participants were drawn from MMD, Rainbow, UPND, FDD and NAREP while PF was conspicuously meeting from the meeting in spite of the invitation.
The parties all submitted that they had put in deliberate steps to adopt more women but also spoke against women working against one another. They also said that women need to move out of the stereo type that they are always supposed to be looked after by men and take the mantle.
And NGOCC regional coordinator for Eastern and Central provinces Pascal Kambafwile submitted that lack of financial muscle mostly disadvantaged women hence the decision by its organisation to work through the ZNWL to fund all the female candidates that shall be adopted. Mr. Kambafwile also wondered why society so much labelled women politicians with wrong tags and also tying them to their past wrong activities when male politicians have been tolerated.
“We are also saddened by the stereotyping of women and also calling the women by wrong tags. It is also buffling that when a woman does something wrong like ditching a husband for her personal reasons it becomes a big scandal but then we have a number of male politicians who are polygamous and some openly beat up their wives and yet they have remained MPs and ministers,” said Mr. Kambafwile.
Meanwhile Mr. Kambafwile has hailed the PF’s recent appointment of many women in key decision making positions who have since performed exceptionally well. Mr. Kambafwile said that women were only different from men in sexual and biological make ups. ZNWL central province chairlady Rebecca Museteka also urged women to avoid bickering and learn more political skills.
“We are glad and appreciate the recent political appointments made by the PF government, indeed that is how it should be. However such appointments were dependent upon individual courtesy and brilliance but as NGOCC we want a system of political dispensation, with sufficient laws that will guarantee women and men’s equal participation in politics regardless of who the President (female or male).
Mr. Kambafwile also disclosed that his organisation will be conducting training sessions of all female political candidates and called for co-operation from all political parties. The meeting also resolved to involve some many female politicians to help in mentoring others.
Some mentors proposed include Dora Siliya, Edith Nawakwi, Sylvia Masebo, Victoria Kalima and Vice President Inonge Wina among others.
According to NGOCC, the current statistics stand at 83 councillors as compared to 1,399 males while 17 female parliamentarians stand out of the 150 total MPs. At traditional level there were 31 female traditional leaders compared to 256 male traditional leaders.