Zambia: Women’s lobby group commends President Zuma on cabinet gender balance

Lusaka, Zambia (PANA) - The Zambia National Women’s Lobby (ZNWL) has applauded South African President Jacob Zuma’s appointment of 15 women into his 35 member cabinet.

The organisation said here that the number which represents about 42.8 percent representation of women in the government’s highest decision-making organ is a step in the right direction as the absence of women from political decision making has a negative impact on the entire process of development.

"We are further encouraged that 43 percent of the South African parliament is female, a clear indication that the attainment of the 50 percent women’s representation in public affairs and other important offices will soon be achieved,” the Women’s lobby group said in a statement Wednesday.

ZNWL, however, said it is important to note that South Africa is attaining gender parity in decision-making positions partly because of the Proportional Representation Electoral system that the country is practicing, which enhances the likelihood of representatives from minority or marginalised groups such as women and the disabled to be included in decision making positions.

Proportional Representation also ensures that there is greater consensus in policy making and attainment of equitable development, the organisation stated.

“We therefore implore the Zambian government through the leadership of his Excellency President Michael Sata to consider adopting the Proportional Representation Electoral system as a mode of election to enhance democracy and the participation of the minority groups in the electoral process.”

The Women’s Lobby group said while it is true that Zambia as a country may not meet the benchmark of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Declaration on Gender and Development of ensuring that there is 50 percent representation of men and women in all decision making positions by 2015, the country can still emulate other countries in the SADC region like South Africa and Lesotho (at local government level) who have managed to increase the number of women in decision making positions through affirmative action, like the reviewing of legal frameworks for more women to assume decision making positions.
-0- PANA MM/VAO 28May2014

28 may 2014 17:53:24




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