THE Non-Governmental Gender Organisations’ Coordinating Council (NGOCC) says gender mainstreaming at all levels is no longer negotiable but a development imperative.
NGOCC chairperson Mary Mulenga has commended the Minister of Water Development and Sanitation for the appointment of gender balanced boards for the National Water Supply and Sanitation Council (NWASCO), Lusaka Water Supply and Sanitation Company (LWSC) and Kafubu Water Supply and Sanitation Company.
On January 5, the Minister of Water Development and Sanitation, Mike Mposha, announced the appointment of board members for the water utilities which includes both women and men drawn from diverse backgrounds.
Mulenga said balanced composition of the boards was in line with Article 259 of the Republican Constitution, which requires appointing authorities to always ensure gender balance in all appointments.
“We are therefore elated that the minister is abiding by the dictates of the Constitution which is a step in the right direction. It is NGOCC’s observation that going forward, this positive step in ensuring gender balance on various boards will be complemented with the move to give women opportunities to also ascend to positions of chairing the said boards. It is important to note that women also possess the capabilities and the required skills to provide strategic leadership at all levels of the decision-making strata,” she said. “On behalf of NGOCC and indeed the women’s movement, we take this opportunity to congratulate all the women that have been appointed to sit on these boards for the water utility companies. We have no doubt that they will provide the necessary leadership in this very critical sector. As it is said, water is life and therefore the provision of clean and quality water to all citizens is not only a must but a fundamental responsibility in government guaranteeing citizen’s enjoyment of their human rights.”
Mulenga called on other ministers and appointing authorities to emulate the Ministry of Water Development and Sanitation in gender responsiveness.
“Gender mainstreaming at all levels is no longer negotiable but a development imperative. It is against this background that we look forward to the operationalisation of the Gender Equality Commission by the New Dawn administration to ensure effective gender mainstreaming in all sectors,” said Mulenga.