The Non-governmental Gender Organisation Coordinating Council (NGOCC) has expressed concerns that government failed to make provision to operationalise the Gender Equity and Equality Act in the 2024 national budget.
Finance and National Planning Minister, Situmbeko Musokotwane, unveiled the K177.9 billion 2024 national budget on Friday last week.
NGOCC Executive Director, Anne Anamela, in a statement issued in Lusaka on Tuesday said the law would help in the establishment of Gender Commission which was a constitutional imperative.
Anamela said it was also NGOCC’s hope that the budget would give an indication on the re-establishment of the Ministry of Gender.
“We had further hoped for a budgetary allocation towards the full operationalization of the Anti Gender Based Violence (GBV) Act particularly for the establishment of the Anti-GBV Fund as well as the construction of Safe Houses as provided for in the Act,” she said.
Anamela said one of NGOCC’s expectations for the budget, was also an allocation to improve community policing given the increasing number of GBV cases.
She argued that gender equity and equality were not just a rhetoric but a development imperative and that the National Budget was a key tool in moving forward this agenda.
“We are also concerned that the 2024 budget does not make provision for the constitution review, especially the inclusion of the expanded Bill of Rights,” Anamela said.
She said the expanded Bill of Rights remained key for women and children and that government should consider facilitating a standalone National Referendum before the 2026 elections.
Anamela said NGOCC was also concerned that the 2024 budget, just like the budgets before, remained gender blind.
“We urge the Ministry of Finance and National Planning and the legislature to ensure that national budgets are gender responsive and sensitive taking into consideration the differentiated needs of women, men, girls and boys,” she said.
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