Africa-Press – Zambia. The Non-Governmental Organisation Coordinating Council (NGOCC) has called on the United Party for National Development (UPND) government to come up with a policy that will facilitate for a quarter representation of women in parliament.
NGOCC Executive Director Engwase Mwale said the 50 percent representation agenda which the organisation has been pushing for is failing. Ms. Mwale said women representation in parliament can only be increased if government came-up with deliberate policies to make them lawmakers.
“The inclusion of women in all leadership positions will have a positive impact on the setting of priorities for national development,” she said.
Ms. Mwale added that increasing the number of women elected at local government and parliament level will improve Zambia’s ranking with regards to representation of women in political decision making positions.
She has since bemoaned the low number of females who have won parliamentary seats during the recent general elections. Ms. Mwale explained that Zambia missed the opportunity in the just ended general elections to narrow the gender gap on achieving the 50-50 women and men representation in political positions.
“We are not happy with the current participation of women in the electoral matters. From our preliminary data analysis, the number of women elected to both parliamentary and local government levels falls far below 20 percent respectively,” she said.
She said NGOCC expects that President Hakainde Hichilema will consider nominating women for the eight Members of Parliament to cushion the low numbers of women in parliament. She said nominating women will contribute to an increased representation of women in decision making at national level.
Ms. Mwale stated that NGOCC stands ready to discharge the watchdog role of providing checks and balances to the new administration in an objective, professional and independent manner.
She said Zambia is also a signatory to the United Nations Charter that compels the country to have more women representation in decision making positions by the year 2030.
Ms. Mwale has since expressed confidence that the UPND administration will encourage and support women to vie for decision making positions in order to achieve national development.