By BRIAN HATYOKA –
BANK of Zambia Deputy Governor Tukiya Kankasa Mabula has urged female lawyers in Africa to upgrade their qualifications and not to resort to ‘shortcuts’ to succeed.
Dr Mabula, who is an academician and business lawyer, also wondered why Zambia only had one female State Counsel out of 39 for many years.
Dr Mabula said there is need for female lawyers to embrace a learning culture by going to the best universities around the world to get the best qualifications so that they compete favourably.
She was speaking in Livingstone at Zambezi Sun Hotel yesterday when she gave a key note address during the International Bar Association (IBA) Legal Practice Division (LPD) women business lawyers initiative inaugural African programme.
The conference, which has been organised by IBA and Law Association of Zambia (LAZ), is being held under the theme ‘African Women in Law Rising’.
“Female lawyers should take continuous professional development seriously and it will be difficult to bring you down in your job or career if you have the right papers,” she said.
She noted that it is unacceptable in a legal profession which promotes justice to practice injustice in terms of gender equality.
Dr Mabula wondered why Zambia only had one female State Counsel out of 39 for many years.
She said out of 868 registered lawyers in Zambia for the year 2015, about 362 are females representing a third of the total number of lawyers in the country.
“For the office of State Counsel, which is the most prestigious accolade you can get as a practicing lawyer in Zambia, only one is a woman out of 39 State Counsels who are alive and serving the profession,” Dr Mabula said.
“For one to be appointed as State Counsel, you need to be able to be qualified to be appointed as a judge and you need to have practiced for 10 years and I am sure we have women who qualify,” she said.
Speaking earlier at the same function, LAZ president George Chisanga thanked IBA for according LAZ the opportunity to host the event.
Mr Chisanga said the chief aims of the event were to raise awareness on the challenges facing African female lawyers and to enhance skills and influence of professional women lawyers in Africa as well as to empower them.