Power and Politics

Gender body bemoans reduction in women representation in Cabinet


The Non-governmental Gender Organisations’ Coordinating Council (NGOCC) has said dismissal of former Minister of Information and Media, Chushi Kasanda, reduces the number of women in Cabinet.

On Monday, President Hakainde Hichilema made changes to his Cabinet, barely hours after holding a meeting at State House.

While recognising the constitutional discretion given to the appointing authority to hire and dismiss, NGOCC Executive Director, Anne Anamela, said Hichilema should have considered replacing Kasanda with another woman.

Anamela in a statement issued in Lusaka on Wednesday said the Head of State should have also considered transferring Kasanda to another Ministry.

“Over the years the women movement has been deeply concerned with the low numbers of women in decision making positions as this adversely impacts the development trajectory since decisions are made devoid of women’s voices,” she said.

Anamela said it was critical that when making decisions, the unique needs of women, men, girls and boys should be taken into consideration.

She said it was, therefore, sad to note that the number of women remained low both at Parliamentary and local Government levels.

“Further, it is sad to note that female representation in Cabinet has further reduced with the removal of Kasanda,” Anamela said.

She said NGOCC had further noted that the President had also dismissed the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries, Anne Songolo.

Anamela said it was NGOCC’s hope that Songolo would be replaced by another woman.

Read more: ‘Cabinet reshuffle superficial, meaningless,’ party leader, Tembo, knocks Hichilema on cabinet changes

“Meanwhile, as the women’s movement we would like to congratulate Princess Kasune on her appointment as Provincial Minister for Central province,” she said.

Anamela said NGOCC had no doubt that Kasune would provide the much-needed leadership in the province to spur development.

She noted that Article 259 of the Republican Constitution clearly stipulates that those who make appointments to various positions should take gender balancing into consideration.

“As we have stated before, sustainable development will remain a pipe dream if women, who constitute 51 percent of the population are left out of the development processes,” Anamela said.

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