CHIEF Cooma says the country can only develop when there is inclusiveness in governance.
Addressing headmen at a meeting organised by the Chikanta Community Schools Development Project (CCSDP) aimed at sensitising them on the importance of advocating women and youth participation in decision making positions held at his palace, Cooma said there was need to promote diversity in leadership.
“The country can only develop when there is inclusiveness in governance. We need the input of women and youths also in leadership be at local level in our communities, villages and national level,” he said.
Cooma believes that if such kind of awareness raising was consistently done it would see the number of women and youths aspiring for leadership positions increase especially in politics.
And CCSDP executive director Siabalumbi Siamoongwa said there was need for the traditional leadership to join calls in advocating the enactment of legal provisions that can enable women and youths’ participation in leadership.
He attributed the failure by women to pull through in the last general elections at different levels to lack of political will, resources and legal provisions.
“As CCSDP with funding of $5,000 from the Carter Center we are implementing a project aimed at advancing women and youth political participation in Choma and Kalomo districts,” he said. “The project also advocates for a substantive policy change in Zambia that protect and promote the right for women and youths to participate in public affairs as well as activities that promote zero tolerance for gender-based violence in the electoral process. And in Choma we are in Mutandalike ward of Chief Cooma.”
Siamoongwa explained that the activity was aimed at building the capacity of women and youths to understand and claim their rights for them to become active in politics.
He said this was to ensure they overcome traditional and gender roles that undermine their participation as voters as well as candidates in the electoral process.