Ministry of Gender Permanent Secretary Mainga Kabika has called on political parties to revise their party constitutions to accommodate more women into leadership positions.
Mrs Mainga explains that this will help address critical issues affecting women and girls in the country.
Equal participation of women will enhance development , she reasons, by addressing some of the issues that hinder women from realizing their potential as they contribute to social and economic development.
Speaking at the side-lines of the Commonwealth Women’s forum in Kigali, Rwanda, Mrs Kabika said the Electoral Commission of Zambia ( ECZ ) should also compel political parties to field 50 percent women among candidates seeking political office.
ZANIS reports from Kigali, Rwanda that the Permanent Secretary maintained that it is important for Zambia to participate in the women’s conference as it will provide the country an opportunity to share ideas and learn from successes of other countries with regard to equal participation in decision making positions.
“We can take lessons from countries such as Rwanda where 61 percent of parliamentary positions are held by women while Zambia is lagging behind at 14 percent,” she said.
The Permanent Secretary said the country can enhance women participation in key leadership positions and be able to leverage funding.
Mrs Kabika demanded that that funding institutions should assist women to access loan facilities.
She noted that access to finance has been inhibiting women engaging in entrepreneurship and politics stating that few women have the financial muscle to participate in politics.
Meanwhile, Karen Nakawala, a member of the taskforce on the ‘Elimination of Cancer’ stressed the need for the commonwealth countries to look at ways of reducing cervical cancer especially among countries with the highest cases of the disease.
Ms Nakawala observed that Zambia is ranked third from Malawi and Eswatini and called for more collaboration on issues such as access to treatment.
“Though treatment of cancer in Zambia is free, we have a challenge because there is only one facility which is specialized in cancer treatment and it also provides services to other countries in the region so we need more facilities that are accessible,” she said.
Ms Nakawala , who is a Cancer Survivor , further stressed the need for enhanced access to HPV vaccine among eligible girls stating that this is the only way to eliminate cervical cancer.
She also noted that information sharing on best practices will help the country adopt similar lessons regarding sensitization and treatment of cancer.