Women Empowerment

Women must come to terms with the reason why humans desire dominance to actualise their quest for equal leadership roles as espoused in this year’s Women’s Day theme; “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step it up for gender equality”.

It is a well-known fact that dominant human forces do not easily give up authority to allow their perceived ‘competitors’ to assume leadership roles.

This is because power is considered to be ‘sweet’ and giving up ‘sweet’ positions of authority is not an easy sacrifice.

It is, therefore, important that as women step up for gender equality by the year 2030, they grab the favourable existing environment in the governance structures to achieve their quest for leadership roles.

In Zambia and the world over, male dominance in positions of authority has provoked debate on finding ways to ensure equal sharing of jobs and other opportunities.

Since the affirmative action to empower women to ascend to leadership positions started, many policies and legislations have been crafted in many countries to ensure the women folk had a fair share of decision making roles.

Empowerment programmes have also been formulated to ensure that women, who are considered economically vulnerable, are favoured in the acquisition of funds and other assets, such as land, which were a preserve of the men.

In Zambia, successive governments have done their part in ensuring that women were not left behind in empowerment programmes and leadership roles.

A decade or so ago when the number of illiterate girl children was skyrocketing because of stringent school education rules of not entertaining child mothers, Government moved in to introduce the re-entry education policy.

This is the policy which allows school child mothers to re-enter the education mainstream after giving birth when they fall pregnant.

This came after a realisation that a disadvantaged girl child because of lack of education was more vulnerable.

The Zambia governance system has gone further with introducing women empowerment funds which the disadvantaged would access.

Successive political leaders have also taken a step forward  to include women in their governance structures with the appointment of female permanent secretaries and ministers with the latest being President Edgar Lungu’s appointment of Madam Inonge Wina as Vice President of Zambia.

To underscore all those deliberate empowerment strategies, the recently amended Constitution has a provision for the establishment of the Gender and Equality Commission to reduce the inequalities that hinder women and girls from contributing to the social and economic development.

But the womenfolk should not always take for granted that they land positions of leadership whenever they were appointed by men.

They have to take the bull by the horns and chart their leadership journey.

When Mizinga Melu ascended to the position of chief executive officer of Standard Bank, she did not come from the political field to land the position but excelled using her academic credentials to head a financial institution.

Chief Justice Ireen Mambilima’s background is enough motivation to the girl child that education, perseverance and preparation can pay off.

It is therefore incumbent upon the women to grab every empowerment programme to ensure they excelled in their endeavours in their quest to assume leadership roles and meet the 2030 target of achieving 50-50 equality in decision making.


Categorized | Editorial

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