• President Hakainde Hichilema is aware of the persistent inequalities that have existed for a long time now.
• Government has invested in education and human capital development.
• Increase in the CDF is making changes in in the lives of women.
Northern Province Administration says 2022 National Budget allocation to Social Protection schemes demonstrates government’s commitment to uplifting the livelihood of marginal groups, especially the women.
Speaking when he met Women’s Lobby Group, Provincial Deputy Permanent Secretary Lewis Mwape said government attaches great importance to increasing Social Protection coverage considering that many women especially the aged and those living with disabilities are trapped in abject poverty and can only be sustained by government interventions.
Mr. Mwape noted that the Free Education Policy has both short and long term implications in ending structural poverty and inequalities, hence government’s decision to remove fundamental barriers to access to education.
“We thank you for acknowledging that the increase in the CDF is making changes in in the lives of women, this is very progressive and as government at provincial level we are aware that this has gone a long way in empowering our people because the centralized way of empowerment has not been very helpful so decentralizing the empowerment is one way we can empower the women and reduce poverty and inequality especially at local level,” Mr. Mwape said.
He since assured the Women’s Lobby and the entire Women’s movement that President Hakainde Hichilema is aware of the persistent inequalities that have existed for a long time now and that government is dealing with the root causes of poverty and inequalities, especially gender and income inequalities.
“Government has invested in education and human capital development and ensuring that girls have access to education, that is why there is a removal of school fees, so the free education policy is a step in the right direction and I’m happy that the Women’s Lobby is able to acknowledge that this is going a long way even in reducing early child marriages.”
“We can continue to talk about these things in theory, I think it is time for action and this is what this government is doing. We are acting to ensure that we deal with the fundamental barriers to development,” he added.
And Women’s Lobby Board Chairperson Daisy Ng’ambi has thanked government for increasing the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) allocation to all the 156 Constituencies in the Country which is likely to address and respond to the challenges facing women such as access to capital.
Mrs. Ng’ambi noted that women have had challenges in accessing capital in non-localized and competitive schemes and expressed confidence that the fiscal decentralization would be an answer to women’s empowerment.