Lusaka~March 8th, 2021.
United Party for National Development (UPND) Vice President, Ms Mutale Nalumango has called on women in the country to rise up and demand their rights in order to weather the political storms and injustices they suffer.
This year’s International Women’s Day is being held under the theme: Women In Leadership Achieving An Equal Future In A COVID-19 World
In wishing the women a happy International Women’s Day which falls today, Ms Nalumango reiterated the need for women to demand a safer political playing field that would allow them to freely participate in politics.
“Rise up! Rise up and weather the storm! Demand for your space as the daughters of Manasseh because if you sit quietly, they will forget you. We have signed numerous protocols as a country and one of this protocol calls for us to have 50 per cent in all decision making positions of Government. But do you know that we have a [paltry] 17 per cent women in the Zambian Parliament against the required 50 per cent,” she said.
She stressed that the demands for gender equity and equality both in the country’s political playing field and in society, in general, wasn’t meant to suppress the men, but as a means for moving together.
“We are not saying we will take over from you men. But what we are saying is that we must walk together because you don’t understand how we feel. The woman is the only person who knows what happens in the development of a child in the womb. When human life is hopeless and dependent on the mother: come on and be proud of you. That is a woman. I was only you and me [for nine months],” she said.
She stated that it was gratifying that the world had finally come to appreciate the critical role that women play in the various facets of human endeavours.
“World over, women have been regarded as minors-people who do not grow and do not think. But the world has seen that a woman is a great contributor to development. We keep the home; we keep the peace. When a woman rises, the nation rises,” she said.
She said that it was regrettable that women have for too long been treated as the weaker sex when they were the source of life who understood conception and the pains that comes with it.
“You need a woman to help formulate health policies because I feel what my fellow women feel. On 12th August, we come in and for us its proportional Representation so that the youth and the woman know what per cent is allocated to them in decision-making positions of government.
She has since applauded President Hakainde Hichilema’s fulfilment of the pledge to increase the number of women in the UPND National Management Committee (NMC) to 32 of the 70 members in the highest decision making organ of the party.
Newly appointed UPND Chairperson for Special Duties, William Banda has called on party functionaries to rally behind Ms Nalumango as she delivers her duties as UPND Veep.
“Madam Vice President, Mercy Changwe has said something important…about discipline and protocol. That’s the task I have been given and I will ensure that discipline takes centre-stage in UPND. We are lucky to have Ms Nalumango as the new UPND vice president. Therefore, let’s support her,” said Mr Banda.
Mercy Changwe, who has endured endless, brutal attacks at the hands of the PF, stated that she was saddened that a Government that prides itself in safeguarding the wellbeing of women could allow its caders to continue attacking her unabated.
“I was attacked by PF for displaying UPND regalia on my makeshift stand in Woodlands. These PF cadres have been attacking me for merely being a [fearless] UPND,” she said.
And NDC Lusaka Province Women’s Chairlady Mrs Maureen Sense expressed happiness that the presidential candidate has been identified and it’s Mr Hakainde Hichilema.
“All NDC members who have seen and know the problems have decided to support the UPND alliance because there’s hope in the alliance,” she said
She urged the women in the alliance to work together during the run-up to the August 12 elections.
UPND MEDIA TEAM