ZEIC On Women Adoption
Lusaka, 19th June 2016:
The Council of Elders of the Zambia Elections Information Centre (ZEIC) have followed with keen interest the debates around the low adoption of women as candidates to contest in the forthcoming General Elections.
We are concerned that very few women were adopted to contest as President or Running Mate, Members of Parliament, Mayors, Council Chairpersons and Councilors. Elections like the ones we have in August are not meant just for men, but also for women, youth and persons with disability.
Through the ZEIC citizens’ platforms, we have gathered that this challenge is a result of a number of prevailing issues.
The prevailing issues that have caused this low number of women being adopted as candidates include:
Sexist attitudes that advance the belief that politics is a game for men.
Lack of political will and weak intra party systems to promote women’s participation in political processes.
Skewed economic environment where the majority of women are not able to raise money for nominations and for funding their campaigns.
The issue of low adoption of women as candidates is of great concern to us as the ZEIC Council of Elders. We appeal to Zambians to be more progressive and challenge these deep-seated beliefs and practices that have potential to affect the fairness of our elections. We are of the view that while the fairness and freeness of the general elections is most important, we need to also pay attention to the lack of fairness in internal party processes which has created this situation where a small number of women have been adopted.
Women are equal players and the environment should ensure fairness to support women politicians. Through the ZEIC citizens’ platforms, the people of Zambia have expressed concern over this trend and it is their hope that as we approach 11th August 2016, we will position ourselves to prepare a fair ground for both male and female aspirants.
We encourage citizens to continue reporting issues around the electoral mood by sending text messages to our short code 2323, through our WhatsApp number 0974259473, and through our Facebook and Twitter Platforms. As a citizen, your opinion counts. The ZEIC provides that platform where as a citizen you can access information and share your opinion to contribute to enhanced the credibility of the 11th August General Elections.
Issued by Fr. Leonard Chiti
Chairperson of the ZEIC Council of Elders