Zambia celebrates women as agents of social change and economic development

President Hakainde Hichilema joined Zambian women in celebration of the International Women’s Day which ran under the theme ‘Gender Equality today for a sustainable tomorrow’.

Today we celebrate the International Women’s Day (IWD), appropriately themed “gender equality today, for a sustainable tomorrow”. In this celebration we recognise the achievements of heroic women who have waded through monumental challenges that have in turn inspired other women and girls around the world.

This important day celebrates the women everywhere that have made a difference in their own communities, evoked change and set the pace for social, cultural, political and economic integration that has benefited humanity.

Our Government is fully aware of the challenges gender inequality can bring and the consequences therefrom. This is the reason the 2022 budget has made deliberate provisions for women empowerment especially via CDF. We are not merely talking but walking the talk.

We wish to urge the women to lead the way in raising awareness on cultural stereotypes, bias, discrimination and the need for gender equality and social justice whether it’s at home or in the workplace.

Whether it is an Executive, an Entrepreneur, a Doctor, Nurse or indeed a woman that wakes up at the crack of dawn to sell her vegetables inorder to raise money for her family, our women possess positive influence that has driven nations to peace, prosperity and greatness.

Our government will continue to honour our women as agents of social change and economic development and will therefore work to empower them with necessary skills and resources to carry out this important process.

We were honoured and humbled to have taken part in joining the rest of the world in the commemoration of the 2022 International Women’s Day today, at the Lusaka Show Grounds. The theme ‘Gender Equality today for a sustainable Tomorrow’, is aligned with our Government’s aspirations and vision for achieving gender equity and equality for women and girls.

The march past by our mothers was a symbolic show of resilience and a demonstration of boldness and determination to stride into the future with ambition and hope. Our women’s contribution to our nation’s social and economic developments must be recognised and applauded.

In our message to the women, we recognised that equal rights and involvement in national development are pre-requisites for a sustainable tomorrow and that this year’s theme had come at an opportune time when the world was being affected by the effects of climate change.

We implored Traditional and Church leaders to compliment government efforts in curbing the vice of early marriages and warned perpetrators of such wrongdoing that the law would visit them.

Our government’s reason, among many others, to provide free education up to Grade 12, is to ensure that vulnerable children are kept in school longer, not only to equip them with knowledge, but to protect them from the evils of early marriages.

As government, we wish to acknowledge the support we have continued to receive towards gender equity and equality from our cooperating partners such as, the UN systems in Zambia, the governments of Ireland, Sweden and Canada, USAID and the European Union. To them all, we say thank you for standing with us.

Happy International Women’s Day to our women and to all citizens of our great Nation. May God bless you and may He bless the Republic of Zambia.

Hakainde Hichilema,
President of the Republic of Zambia

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