Zambian Members of Parliament attending the Committee Sittings of the Pan African Parliament in Midrand, South Africa, have called on African Union Member States to commit towards  actualising all the plans and activities put in place to empower women and girls on the continent.

Speaking during the commemoration of International Women’s Day on the sidelines of the Committee Sittings of the Pan African Parliament, Kafue Member of Parliament, Ms Mirriam Chonya, MP, called on all countries in Africa to put in place mechanisms of evaluating the implementation progress of empowerment activities and programmes that were being proposed. Ms Chonya, MP, emphasised that it was time for African Governments to commit to achievable and measurable programmes in order to translate speeches and commitments into tangible impact.

Ms Chonya said “In the last Plenary sitting of PAP, we discussed the implementation of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human Rights and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa which is known as the Maputo Protocol, and one of the resolutions was that African Countries should initiate training programmes for women and young entrepreneurs in the use of digital tools and to allocate resources to encompass access to technology and social media by women and girls’.

Ms Chonya reminded the delegates on the need to followup on resolutions made to empower women and girls, ‘What progress are we making towards this resolution which is in line with this year’s International Women’s Day? When we meet like this, we need to be evaluating our progress so that we can push those countries that are not making progress’, stated Ms Chonya.

Ms Chonya further highlighted that this year’s theme, “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality,” highlighted the role of innovative technology in promoting gender equality and and advancing the well being of women and girls and called on African Countries to work towards reducing the digital gaps between women and men.

In contributing to the debate on the commemoration of the day, Mwinilunga Member of Parliament, Mr Newton Samakayi, MP, indicated that there was need for women to be united in their push for gender equality. He lamented that the support base from women to women was weak and this contributed towards slow implementation of women empowerment programmes.

The Parliamentarians wished all the women in Africa a joyous International Women’s Day commemoration.