Money alone won’t fix gender inequality
I couldn’t agree more! Zambia definitely needs to allocate more resources to gender, just as President Lungu said on International Women’s Day, as women are key to this country’s economic development. However, I find it worrying that our president is using the day to direct his finance minister to “ensure that adequate resources are allocated to the Ministry of Gender for implementing the PF manifesto’s vision of gender and women’s empowerment programmes”, accusing the minister of treating it as a “Cinderella ministry”. This is the exact cause of Zambia’s economic morass: an executive meddling in the economic affairs of the country! Had it not been for President Sata’s interference – directing money to anything from infrastructure to the civil service – Zambia would not have plummeted to the depths it did. Right now, Zambia is trying to prove to the rest of the world that it is capable of sticking to a national budget – after years of setting records in budget deficits – and Lungu’s utterances are rather unfortunate in this context. In addition, Lungu is himself giving the Cinderella treatment to the Ministry of Gender, having appointed Victoria Kalima to head it. With a background in the former ruling MMD party, Kalima is a typical swing-door politician, who joined the PF ahead of the general elections in 2016, having reportedly announced that being in the opposition is a “waste of time”. She has no prior ministerial experience, and she has failed to stand out since her appointment in October 2016. More money is not the solution to everything.
Camilla Hebo Buus, Editor Zambia Weekly