Speaker Urges MPs to embrace Gender Responsive Planning and Budgeting

The Speaker of the National Assembly of Zambia, the Rt. Hon Mr Justice Dr Patrick Matibini, SC, BA, FCIArb, MP has observed that gender inequality is a serious global challenge with half of the world’s population struggling to eliminate both the obvious and invisible barriers of gender equality.
Speaking during a virtual training workshop on Gender Responsive Planning and Budgeting (GRPB) for selected Members of Parliament (MPs) on Wednesday, 16th September, 2020, Dr Matibini noted that statistics indicate that women have continued to lag behind their male counterparts in all spheres of national development, especially in developing countries.
He further stated that gender disparities imply that women and girls will continue to be afflicted by poverty, and the consequent lack of income to invest in their economic and social development, such as education and health.
Dr Matibini implored the MPs to use the training opportunity to interrogate, learn and discuss GRPB issues, to enable them contribute effectively to the elimination of gender inequalities in society.
Speaking during the same workshop, Hon Elizabeth Phiri, MP, Minister of Gender indicated that the Government of the Republic of Zambia, through her Ministry was committed to making a difference in people's lives.
She stated that the Ministry was promotiing gender equity and equality with a policy agenda that combats declining gender roles and structures, so that women and men, boys and girls can live their lives to their full potential.  
Hon Phiri averred that the National Assembly has a significant role to play in legislation and approving budgets, hence a major stakeholder in the pursuit of gender equality.  
The Minister encouraged MPs to use their legislative power to ensure that gender issues are incorporated in the budgeting process.
Meanwhile, the Clerk of the National Assembly of Zambia, Mrs Cecilia Mbewe said the GRPB training workshop would enable MPs to gain more knowledge that would aid them to effectively execute their oversight role on gender policy matters, in relation to the national budget.
Furthermore, Oxfam Great Britain (GB) Zambia Country Director, Ms Dailes Judge reiterated that Parliament has a pivotal role to play in the national budget. She noted that beyond the role of approving the budget and ex-post auditing through the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), Parliament has a critical role of providing oversight on the execution of the budget through Committees.
In her closing remarks, the First Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Honourable Catherine Namugala, MP thanked the Honorable Members, for finding time to participate in the virtual meeting.
Hon Namugala urged the MPs to use the information and skills that they had acquired through the GBPB workshop, to promote the implementation of gender responsive planning and budgeting mechanisms; and thoroughly scrutinise the 2021 national budget with a gender lense.
The half day workshop was organised by the National Assembly of Zambia in collaboration with the Ministry of Gender and Oxfam (GB) Zambia.
Also in attendance was the Second Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon Mwimba Malama, MP.  
The workshop served to prepare the MPs to adequately scrutinise the forthcoming National Budget which will be presented to the House on 25th September, 2020.