Zambia: Women groups hail Zambian President’s decision on female running mate

Lusaka, Zambia (PANA) – Women groups in Zambia have commended Zambian President Edgar Lungu on his pronouncement that he would adopt a woman as his running mate during the 11 August general elections.

President Lungu announced over the weekend that he would appoint a woman as his running mate because he was an advocate of gender equality as enshrined in the Constitution of Zambia.

The Non-Governmental Organizations’ Coordinating Council (NGOCC) said Monday that the pronouncement by the Head of State is in consonant with the spirit as espoused by the preamble of the Republican Constitution.

NGOCC executive director Engwase Mwale noted that the preamble of the constitution emphasizes the equal worth of both men and women and the need for gender equity and equality.

The organization said as an umbrella body championing equal rights of women and men to participate in decision making, it was glad that President Lungu, as leader of the ruling party, is leading the way by committing to adopting a woman as a running mate.

“We hope that other political parties will be motivated to ensure that there is gender balance between their Presidential candidates and the running mates,” Mwale stated.

She further urged all political parties to ensure that they also adopt more women as Parliamentary and local government candidates ahead of the 2016 general elections.

Mwale said Zambia will only achieve socio economic development if both men and women work together and "if this spirit is embraced at all levels of development".

The Zambia National Women’s Lobby (ZNWL) said President Lungu had shown his commitment to empowering women by giving equal opportunities in decision-making positions.

ZNWL executive director Beauty Katebe, noted that President Lungu was the first Head of State to appoint Inonge Wina as the first female vice-president, and that there was no doubt that he would implement what he had promised.

President Lungu who came to power in January 2015 following a presidential by-election appointed Wina, 74, as vice-president, making her the first female to hold this high ranking position in Zambia.

Lungu also announced recently that the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) will adopt 40 percent of women candidates to contest on the party’s ticket for the parliamentary and local government elections to be held also on 11 August.
-0- PANA MM/VAO 22Feb2016

22 february 2016 17:16:38

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