NGOCC demands constitutional order in Zambia
By Staff Reporter
NGOCC says the country needs a constitutional order that guarantees women’s rights before the 2021 general elections.
And President Edgar Lungu has commended Non-governmental Organisation Coordinating Council (NGOCC) for doing a good job.
Speaking during the commemoration of the International Women’s Day (IWD) at the Showgrounds in Lusaka this afternoon, NGOCC chairperson Mary Mulenga said the women movement was saddened to note increased incidences of political violence, especially during elections.
“As the women’s movement we look forward to the long-awaited dialogue that should ultimately usher in renewed constitutional order that fully guarantees inherent human and women’s rights prior to the 2021 general elections,” she said.
Mulenga said this year’s IWD theme: think equal, build smart, innovate for change, brings to light the world’s focus on finding innovative ways in which to advance gender equality and the empowerment of women.
She said gender equity and equality was a serious development imperative, adding that the country could no longer proceed with ‘business as usual’ attitude.
“We live with another sad reality where women have continued to die while giving life right within our health facilities. Access to quality sexual reproductive health services and rights remains a huge challenge for most women especially in rural areas,” Mulenga said.
“While we have elaborate policies and legal frameworks to narrow the gender gaps such as the National Gender Policy, the Gender Equity and Equality Act (GEEA), the Anti Gender Based Violence Act and the Seventh National Development plan, there is serious need to actualise and implement the proposed measures in these documents”.
Mulenga further said that women’s movement in Zambia desired a transformative leadership at all levels.
She also expressed her concern over increased incidences of violence perpetuated by political parties in the country.
“We are convinced that a better Zambia is possible if women and men move together in solidarity and peace. We have no doubt in our minds that any disruption of peace in the country negatively affects mostly women and children,” Mulenga said.
Meanwhile, speaking when he visited the NGOCC stand at the Lusaka’s Showgrounds this morning, President Lungu said, “I am aware of what NGOCC is doing and all I can say is that you are doing a very good job. We will also see to it that some of the challenges that you are facing are addressed”.
And addressing women later in the afternoon, President Lungu said his government was working hard to address women issues in the country.