GOVERNMENT is in the process of opening a bank for women that would enhance the opportunities of women to effectively engage in various entrepreneurship activities and maximize their potential in participating in the social and economic affairs of the country, President Edgar Lungu has announced.
President Lungu said his Government was working hard to improve the well-being of women by ensuring that they were trained in skills which could assist them to add value to their various products.
President Lungu said despite the many efforts women were making in entrepreneurship to sustain their livelihood and their families, his Government was cognizant of the various challenges that the female gender encountered in accessing finance to enable them add value to their products.
The Head of State was speaking in Lusaka yesterday at the National Women Economic Empowerment Exposition at Mulungushi International Conference Centre.
President Lungu said the women’s bank was aimed providing women entrepreneurs with affordable and accessible financial services designed to cater across all social and economic strata of the women folk in Zambia.
The President said the women would also be allowed to own shares in the women bank to be established as a way of empowering women especially those in rural areas.
“The number of women holding influential offices worldwide still remains very low. This deficit is attributed to largely social norms and beliefs regarding gender roles.
There is need therefore to increase information and knowledge sharing to challenge these norms and practices.
This will change perceptions and boost the likelihood of women actuating political, social and economic aspirations,” President Lungu said.
President Lungu stressed that multi-sectoral mechanisms were key to the promotion of women’s economic empowerment and advised that stronger partnerships should be built with key stakeholders such as the civil society and the private sector in promoting women entrepreneurship.
The Head of State said his Government’s long term goal was to eliminate gender inequalities in social and economic development. He stated that Zambia was working towards improving educational attainment and eliminate gender gaps at all levels of human, political, social and economic development.
The National Women Economic Exposition was held under the theme: “Promoting young women as entrepreneurs and change agents.”