Women's Appointments Cheer NGOCC

By Masuzyo Chakwe
Published August 31st 2005 in allAfrica.com

THE rise of women to higher positions signifies the end of the tradition that has always made decision-making a male's domain, National Women's Lobby Group board secretary Tamala Kambikambi has said.

And NGOCC board chairperson Lucy Muyoyeta has said her movement agrees with the principle of majoritarian rule system but not in the manner proposed by the Electoral Reforms Technical Committee (ERTC) report.

Kambikambi said the lobby was happy with the recent appointments of women in decision-making positions as it was a significant milestone for the emancipation of Zambian women in their struggle to participate in decision making.

Recently, Supreme Court judge Ireen Mambalima was appointed chairperson for the Electoral Commission of Zambia together with Grace Mulapesi as commissioner.

And commenting on the ERTC report released last week, Muyoyeta said Zambian women had been marginalised and excluded from political power and decision making for a long time due to the unfavourable electoral processes, amongst other factors.

She said the movement was particularly pleased with the recommendations for special measures aimed at increasing women's participation and promotion of gender equality.

"The quota system obliging to provide at least 30 per cent women candidates for the constituency based seats in order to qualify for the proportional representation system was pleasing," Muyoyeta said.

She said the movement was also pleased with the introduction of the proportional representation under which 25 of the 30 proportional representation based seats be allocated to women.

Muyoyeta said the movement was pleased with the appointment of a cabinet that comprised at least 30 per cent women and at least 30 per cent of the nominated members of parliament to be women.

She said these recommendations were based on the Southern African Development Community (SADC) gender declaration requirement of 30 per cent women representation in decision-making positions.

Muyoyeta said NGOCC further agreed with the principle of majoritarian rule system but not in the manner proposed in the ERTC report.

She said the movement maintained their position as reflected in the draft constitution that a winning presidential candidate must marshal 50 per cent plus one of the votes cast in order to be declared the winner.

"We also maintain our position on having cabinet ministers appointed from outside Parliament," Muyoyeta said.

She said the movement was expectant that government would ensure the speedy and efficient implementation of the ERTC progressive recommendations.