THE Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has called for increased women’s leadership participation in union organisations.

ZCTU deputy secretary general Misheck Nyambose speaking at a gender mainstreaming workshop in Lusaka yesterday said women who comprised 44 per cent of the labour movement needed to take up leadership positions at higher levels.

Mr Nyambose said having more women would subsequently increase women’s participation in unionism because other women would follow the example of women leaders.

He noted that there were gaps in gender equality in trade unions and workplaces which could not be adequately addressed without the input of the congress as well as other cooperating partners.

And Mr Helmut Elischer, the resident director for Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), said gender equality was key to development in any country.

“Gender equality is a fundamental human right and an essential condition for achieving affective democracy. The democratic structures of trade unions and their mandate to promote and protect workers’ rights make unions important vanguards in the fight against discrimination at work place,’’ he said.

ZCTU, FES and other collaborating partners are holding a workshop on gender streamlining in trade unions aimed at knowledge exchange, capacity building and gender and leadership among women and also focusing on other matters of contention.

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