Speaker of the National Assembly Rt. Honourable Justice Dr Patrick Matibini, SC, MP on Tuesday, 3rd October, 2017 signed up the Heforshe Campaign at Parliament Buildings. The Heforshe campaign is a global solidarity movement which was started by the United Nations Women (UN Women) and launched by the United Nations Secretary General in September 2014 in order to get different stakeholders, particularly men, involved in the fight for gender equality. The Campaign further seeks to engage boys, girls, men and women alike as agents of change for the achievement of gender equality.
Speaking at the same event, Hon Matibini said the SADC Parliamentary forum passed a resolution at its 39th Plenary Assembly Session, held in Manzini, Swaziland, to decentralize the Heforshe campaign to each National Parliament. The resolution identified Speakers of the Parliaments in the region as key role players to foster the Heforshe campaign in collaboration with the National Women’s Parliamentary Caucuses.
Minister of Gender, Hon Victoria Kalima, MP, said her ministry in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Civil Society Organization and the traditional leadership launched the HeForShe Campaign in all the ten (10) provinces in Zambia. The national campaign was launched by His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, in his capacity as a champion for gender equality in Zambia, on 18th July, 2015 in Nyamphande Chiefdom of Petauke district.
During the same function, Minister of General Education, Hon Dennis M Wachinga, MP informed the meeting that his ministry has put in place facilities to ensure disabled learners access quality education just like other ordinary learners. The ministry has along the way opened special education schools and special education units to mitigate the unmet need for schools for learners with disabilities. In addition, the ministry has introduced inclusive education to enable learners with disabilities learn together with other learners. The ministry has also ensured that all colleges of education offer special education as a course of study.
The speaker signed up the Campaign in order to be an agent of positive change with regard to gender inequality which manifests itself in many spheres of our social, economic and cultural lives.
The event was also attended by the Minister of General Education, Hon Prof Nkandu Luo, MP, Minister of Community Development and Social Welfare, Hon Emerine Kabanshi, MP, and Members of Parliament from the Health Committee.