Speaker of the National Assembly, the Right Honourable Madam Nelly B K Mutti, MP has called on Parliaments to take deliberate steps in adopting legal frameworks that guarantee women’s rights.

Madam Speaker said that, the way a society views women is reflected in the composition of its Parliaments. She noted that there can never be gender-sensitive Parliaments if gender equality is not embedded within a society.

Speaker Mutti said this when she addressed the 145th Assembly of the Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) on Wednesday, 12th October at the Kigali Convention Centre in Kigali, Rwanda.

The Hon Madam Speaker said that she was elated to address the Assembly on the topic for debate, ‘’Gender Equality and Gender Sensitive Parliaments: Drivers of Change for a more Resilient and Peaceful World,’’ in Rwanda, where 61% of the Parliamentarians are women, a country with the highest number of female parliamentarians in the world.

She added that addressing gender inequalities, including having gender-sensitive Parliaments, can act as a driver of change for a more resilient and peaceful world.

The speaker said that the phenomenon of conflict and disaster is a window of opportunity to change the societal structures governing gender equality so that women can have as much a say as men.

She also said that, conversely, the emphasis a Parliament places on ensuring that legislation passed reflects a gender perspective, the more likely an enabling environment to promote gender equality will be provided and give impetus for the success of initiatives related thereto.

The Hon Madam Speaker noted that gender equality and gender-sensitive Parliaments respond to the needs and interests of both men and women, which inherently allows for their full empowerment and participation in decision making processes. She said that this promotes legitimacy of the contemporary democratic ideals and enhances peace.

She also noted that, when both men and women play a role in negotiations for peace and they are able to complement each other’s efforts.

Madam Speaker also emphasised on the need to have strong leadership and political will at all levels, in order to achieve gender equality and gender-sensitive Parliaments as drivers of change and key enablers for a more resilient and peaceful world. She said that when this is attained, Parliaments will act as models that mirror a peaceful, resilient and inclusive society.

The 145th IPU Assembly was opened by President Paul Kagame on Tuesday, 11th October 2022 at the Kigali Convention Centre who encouraged the Parliamentarians to close the gender gap. The Assembly is being attended by over 1300 Parliamentarians from across the globe and is being held from 11th to 15th October 2022.

The Zambian delegation is led by Speaker of the National Assembly, The Right Honourable Madam Nelly B K Mutti, MP.  The other members of the delegation include, Mr Harry Kamboni, MP, Ms Given Katuta, MP, Mr Oliver Amutike, MP, Mr Kenny Siachisumo, MP, Ms Jacqueline Sabao, MP, and Ms Tasila Lungu, MP.