Inonge inspires women movement

THE Non-Governmental Organisations Coordinating Council (NGOCC) says it will be delighted to celebrate its 30th anniversary today with Zambia having the first female Vice President Inonge Wina, who is a ‘‘proud product’’ of the organisation.

NGOCC executive director Engwase Mwale said its 30th anniversary would be held in Kapiri Mposhi rural to coincide with this year’s International Day of the Rural Women.

Ms Mwale said it was gratifying that over the years, NGOCC had continued to grow from strength to strength, with 104 affiliate member organizations spread across the 10 provinces.

“In the last 30 years of its existence, so much has been achieved while so much still needs to be done in terms of advancing the status of women and girls in the country. It is, however, realized that the process of empowering women needed concerted effort,” she said.Ms Mwale said it was encouraging to see more women participating in decision-making and politics in general, as exemplified by the appointment of more women to key positions.

“NGOCC shall continue to advocate for a legal framework that will guarantee the participation of more women in the development process of our country, so that we do not depend on the benevolence of the appointing authority,” she said. She said while the empowerment of women still remained a challenge, it was worth noting that some steps were being taken at both national and international levels to recognize the critical role women play in the development agenda.

Ms Mwale said the 30 years commemoration this year had been deliberately made to coincide with the United Nations (UN) International Day of Rural Women, which honours the role of rural women and recognized their importance in enhancing agricultural and rural development worldwide.

She said the commemoration would be held under the theme, “NGOCC@30: celebrating women’s empowerment and recognizing their role in rural development and food security,” which provides an opportunity to the organization and the movement at large to recount its past and reposition itself for the future.