Is Zambia Ready for Female President?

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                       Edith Nawakwi


By: Charity Moonga

On this year’s Forbes list of the world’s 100 most powerful women, the top three most powerful are politicians: Germany’s Angela Merkel, United States presidential aspirant Hillary Clinton and Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen.

These three have just been joined by new British Prime Minister Theresa May, who replaced David Cameron recently.

Counting the entire list, there are 11 female heads of state as well as one 90-year-old monarch.

These women in leadership and the recent ascending to power of Theresa May, gives hope to Zambia’s one and only female presidential candidate Edith Nawakwi.

The news about Theresa May’s ascendance to power is good news for the women populace in Zambia. The call is on the men in Zambia to not only show confidence of their own worth by not only showing tolerance of women but also value them.

Women are more than ever, leading or running for office in many of the world’s largest nations.

It is necessary to note that women are every bit as capable of being good political leaders as men.

Women have the same key leadership traits as men such as intelligence and capacity for innovation, with many saying they are stronger than men in terms of being compassionate and organised leaders. Women are not in short supply to take up important political positions as observed above and the problem is not about their failure to balance work-life.

As research has shown, career interruptions related to motherhood may make it harder for women to advance in their careers and compete for top executive jobs, the real problem is the fact that women seeking leadership roles have a difficult time proving themselves as capable of doing the job.

Because of this, men have continued to hold more top executive positions in politics and business despite the capable women political leaders who have not been given a chance.

An example for Zambia is Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD) leader Edith Nawakwi.

Ms. Nawakwi assures that she is the best among all the ten citizens seeking to become Republican President after the Thursday August 11, 2016 general election.

Nawakwi, who is Zambia’s only female presidential candidate this year say’s presidential election, the country is in dire need of a feminine touch which will effectively empower citizens.

The FDD presidential candidate, who has previously served as Finance Minister, Labour and Energy Minister, says she will listen and let grassroots communities set the development agenda when elected as president.

Nawakwi regretted that since independence, citizens have continued wallowing in abject poverty on account of development being centralised.

President Lungu championed the Gender equality cause when he chose Vice President Inonge Wina to be his running mate in this year’s election.

Elsewhere in Lusaka, out of 33 wards that make up the city of Lusaka, 25 women have applied and have been nominated to contest at local government level.

The women hope to tackle the issues of local communities and minority groups in the capital of Zambia.

Among these women is former first lady Maureen Mwanawasa who has filed nomination for the highly influential role of Executive Mayor or Lusaka.

Many political parties have nominated women aspiring candidates with PF adopting 24, UPND has adopted 29 women while the FDD has appointed 18.

Slowly but steadily, Zambia is heading towards the goal of gender equality.

The incorporation of women in politics in Zambia will go a long way in representing and fighting for women’s rights.

Despite the fact that women have been shunned in politics while the education rates for young girls in Zambia have remained low, it is still possible for women to work harder and ensure equality towards enhancing development in Zambia.

The call is on Women in Zambia to rise and fight for their rights both as humans and women.

In spite the challenges, women the world over are capable of ensuring political, economic and social change.

Women’s savings form the economic backbone of the household, the informal sector and rural economies.

Their investments send children to school and have ensured that they are better fed and immunised.

Source: Times of Zambia

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