FIFTY per cent of rural women should be encouraged to access various forms of vocational training and economic empowerment programmes such as the facilitation of access to and control of land and other resources, First Lady Esther Lungu has said.
The First Lady was speaking on Tuesday at the Copper belt University (CBU) in Kitwe where she officiated at the commemoration of the International Women’s Day whose theme was “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step it up for Gender Equality.
“Government must aim to address persistent gender inequalities and empower women in the pursuit of national development. Government must fight the continued scourge of violence against women and girls-including trafficking and forced marriages.
“At the same time, the Government should indeed invest in women’s empowerment, especially rural women. I implore government to ensure that 50 per cent of rural women have access to various forms of vocational training,” Mrs Lungu said.
She also said it was important that women and girls were encouraged to pursue careers in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics and also provide additional opportunities for women entrepreneurs.
On the political front, Mrs Lungu said the recent political trends in the country have not been encouraging because of the unprecedented violence witnessed among political players.
“Zambia is a known to be a haven of peace and hence I am calling upon our women folk to help maintain and safeguard this peace by inculcating a culture of peace in the youths as we bring them up.
“Correspondingly, I would like to call upon men who are the majority in the political sphere not to use the youths in their ambitions to acquiring political power. We all know that we have one Zambia and should we witness violence, we will have nowhere to go especially our women and children who are usually the victims of violence,” she said.