By ANNIE ZULU

GOVERNMENT has implored the Church, faith-based and civil society organisations to work towards ensuring that Government policies on gender parity are implemented even within their institutions.

Gender Minister Victoria Kalima expressed sadness that while Government was pushing for 50/50 gender parity in senior management and board composition, the scenario had remained the same in some institutions.

Ms. Kalima said Government had declared that there should be 50 – 50 representation in boards and senior management but regreted that there were still gaps in gender representation.

She observed that stakeholders expected Government to implement the change while the status quo remained the same in their institutions.

The minister said this yesterday when she officiated at the one-day consultative stakeholder meeting held at Protea Arcades Hotel in Lusaka.

“As stakeholders you should work towards ensuring that Government policies are implemented even in your institutions. A case in point is the issue of reaching 50/50 gender parity in senior management and board compositions.

“Pick up Government documents and study the policy direction contained therein so that you join hands with Government in delivering development provision as enshrined in the development plans and strategic documents,” Ms Kalima said.

She also called for stronger collaboration among the stakeholders in addressing gender equality.

Ms. Kalima said gone are the days when the place of girls and women was only the kitchen.

She reiterated that achieving gender equity and equality called for stronger collaboration.

“Gender is a very live concept which touches all of us, not just at places of work but in our families and at individual level. Hence we cannot afford to adopt the new emerging culture of ‘boma iyanganepo’  (let Government look into the matter) because gender mainstreaming starts at a personal level in terms of how you relate with other people,” she said.

She urged stakeholders not to relent but continue rendering assistance and support to girls and women through education by providing scholarships to vulnerable girls especially in rural areas.

And speaking earlier, Ministry of Gender permanent secretary Edwidge Mutale disclosed that the establishment of the women bank was underway and had reached advanced stage.

Ms. Mutale explained that her ministry was having talks with the Zambia Postal Services which had established branches throughout the country for women to access the funds and grants as loans.

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