Statement on International Women’s Day by MMD President Dr Nevers Sekwila Mumba.
On behalf of the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD), I wish to take this opportunity to join the rest of the world in commemorating this year’s International Women’s Day whose theme is “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step it up for gender equality”.
This is a great day for our women not only as mothers but equal partners in the developmental processes of this country. As stated in the theme for the commemoration of this year’s Women’s Day, it’s clear that we need to recognise the effort of our womenfolk in uplifting the living standards of our people in various sectors of society and communities.
Ladies and gentlemen, there is no way the nation and the world at large would attain any single meaningful development if women are left behind. There is no record world over of meaningful development without equal participation of women.
It is therefore important that we end the marginalization and discrimination against women who aspire to take up top decision making positions in the leadership of our country. The need for the attainment of 50-50 in leadership positions is in conformity with various conventions and charters the nation has signed to.
For instance the SADC protocol on women demands that 30 percent of leadership positions are held by women. Some distance has been covered up to this point but, not enough. The steps that have got us here must be quadrupled, if 50-50 by 2030 is to be met.
This is the time to prove to the world that Zambia is not only a democratic state, but also a nation that promotes, encourages and gives equal opportunities to women in all spheres of our society.
This will remain a dream which will not be attained if we do not create an enabling environment which will attract and allow women to aspire for top leadership positions in the political governance of the nation.
We need to start now by ensuring that we create an enabling environment which will accord women opportunities to freely participate in the forthcoming Parliamentary, Presidential and Local Government elections. In this regard, MMD which opens up applications for 2016 candidates tomorrow is determined to aspire for 50% representation of women.
Ladies and gentlemen, as we commemorate this day let us also look at the challenges women face and offer solutions by empowering them. Women should be empowered with education if we really need an informed citizenry. An educated woman is a blessing to any community as her contribution is widely seen and felt.
As we celebrate this day, let’s focus on stopping gender based violence in both homes or work places. Let us stop inflicting pain on women through political insults and other unfair tendencies.
For our women, the men will not give you what you want in leadership and other decision making positions on a silver platter; you need to fight for your place and space.
Be seen to push for this agenda “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step it up for gender equality”.
The time is now.
I thank you
Nevers Sekwila Mumba