MONGU Central Socialist Party aspiring parliamentary candidate Christine Musole says while women vote the most, sadly, they remain under represented in matters of national governance.
Reflecting on the voter registration exercise, Musole notes that the exercise is a big deal for the majority Zambians especially the youth and women.
“This process is a big deal for the majority of Zambians, especially the youth and women. We have noted growing interest among women across the country to stand as candidates in both local government and parliamentary elections. However, the decision whether the majority of women will make it to parliament and win at local government level next year rests with the vote of the Zambian masses, particularly from women themselves. Despite the fact that more women vote than men, it was ‘sad’ that only 18.3 per cent of women were represented in parliament,” Musole noted. “So according to the voters’ roll there were 47,498 more women than men. This means that, while women vote the most, sadly, they remain under represented in matters of national governance. This in turn means that, while women make up the majority of voters, their issues remain marginalised.”
She noted that currently Parliament has fewer voices of women.
“At present, our national parliament has fewer voices representing women on issues that affect them, such as gender-based violence, women’s reproductive health, child marriages, gender inequality, and high poverty rates. What is also important to point out is that there is little realisation among us women that we have a huge responsibility to correct this anomaly,” Musole said. “A country can never have real change and development without the meaningful participation of women, both as candidates and in the voting process itself – to ensure that female candidates win. The real change that we seek in Zambia will only become visible when we begin to channel our energy towards ensuring women’s participation in politics.”
She stressed that the Socialist Party was one of the biggest supporters of real change through women’s participation.
“Our Socialist Party president, Dr Fred M’membe is one of the biggest supporters of real change through women’s participation in politics in the country today. Dr M’membe has openly acknowledged the critical role of women on issues of national governance requiring relentless support and effort that guarantees their full involvement and participation,” said Musole. “As the Socialist Party, we therefore call upon women to turn out in massive numbers to register to vote.”