Woman running mate peak of gender equality
Published On February 27, 2016 » 1931 Views» By Administrator Times » Features
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SPECIAL REPORT LOGOBy DELPHINE ZULU –

PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu recently made a major declaration on his preference of a running mate, news that did not only invoke excitement but also curiosity, especially among women.
He was candid as he announced that he was considering a woman for a presidential running mate in the August 11 general elections.
A clause in the Constitution calls for gender equality in all positions and what Mr Lungu was doing was ensuring that he follows the principles of availing opportunities for women in key decision-making positions.
This has not only cheered the women movement but has largely distinguished President Lungu as one of the few leaders who have empowered women to take up challenging decision-making positions in Government.
Highly guided by gender principles in balancing his appointments, Mr Lungu says: “This should be a matter of tradition, so those of you who want to be a running mate, you must be a woman because if you are not a woman, you’re out.”
With such a radical decision, questions have been asked how effective a woman can be in such a high position while others smell the possibility of having a female president soon.
Mr Lungu believes women are hard workers who have massively contributed to the development of the country from a more silent side.
There is a paradigm shift now as women have that long lost confidence of ascending to the top, thanks to Mr Lungu.
His decision to select a female presidential running mate is premised on the fact that women are hardworking and peaceful people but are being discouraged by the ‘Pull Her Down’ syndrome by the male-dominated society.
Women are now in the spotlight, breaking the adage that discriminated their potential and suggesting that ‘their (women) place is in the kitchen’.
The Head of State has also made it categorical that he is not in support of politicians who only remember women during the run-up to elections but forget their vital role during appointments.
Without doubt, the decision has encouraged and uplifted the women’s desire to contribute effectively to the running of affairs of the country.
Freedom fighter Chibesa Kankasa says having a woman as the President’s running mate is an indication that one day Zambia will be headed by a female.
“Come out and use me to put you in that higher position that you have been eyeing for years, ‘fumyenipo insoni no mwenso tubombele pamo chapwa’ meaning don’t be shy and remove fear in you so that we can work together,” Mr Lungu said.
Patriotic Front (PF) elections chairperson Jean Kapata is excited and says women should emulate her and other female Cabinet ministers.
Coming from a nursing professional background, Ms Kapata says she has worked hard to get to a high political office where she is competing with men in making national decisions.
“We do all household chores, but this is the time that we should also stand up and be part of the 40 per cent that the President has allocated during the August 11 elections, women stand up and be counted because you can do it, let no one discourage you,” she said.
Party deputy elections chairperson Kelvin Bwalya encouraged women to position themselves so that they can make known their contributions.
He observed that many gallant women had died with their visions because they were scared to come out in the open and make their contributions to society due to the fear of being intimidated by men.
“Gallant women with brilliant ideas have gone to their graves with brilliant ideas, do not be scared, come out and join us, we want women to be part of us so come along and show us what you can offer,” Mr Bwalya said.
Although there are already speculations that the announcement has been received with mixed feelings especially by men, one can only say the perceived speculations are from those that had positioned themselves and might want to use it to cause confusion in the party.
Speculations are high amidst curiosity, but the Head of State has kept the name of his chosen running mate close to his chest and now but one fact is known – it is a woman.

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