Zambia News

NGOCC Concerned Over 2024 Budget’s Gender Blindness and Constitution Review

In a recent statement, the Non Governmental Gender Organisation Coordinating Council (NGOCC) has expressed deep concern regarding the 2024 budget’s failure to allocate provisions for the critical constitution review process. NGOCC’s Executive Director, Anne Anamela, emphasized the significance of an expanded Bill of Rights for the protection of women and children’s rights, calling on the government to consider facilitating a standalone National Referendum before the 2026 elections.

Ms. Anamela’s remarks shed light on the urgency of addressing the long-standing issue of gender-blind budgets in the country. She pointed out that the 2024 budget, like its predecessors, does not adequately address the specific needs and concerns of women, men, girls, and boys. This lack of gender responsiveness has been a persistent problem, and she urged both the Ministry of Finance and National Planning and the legislature to rectify it.

Anne Anamela
The women’s movement is deeply concerned that the 2024 budget, much like previous budgets, remains gender blind,” said Ms. Anamela. “It is essential that our national budgets are not only gender-responsive but also sensitive to the differentiated needs of all citizens. Gender should be a fundamental consideration in the budgeting process.”

One of the central concerns raised by NGOCC is the absence of provisions for the operationalization of the Gender Equity and Equality Act. Specifically, Ms. Anamela emphasized the need for establishing the Gender Commission, which is a constitutional imperative. The Gender Commission plays a pivotal role in promoting and ensuring gender equity and equality within the country.

“The Gender Equity and Equality Act is a landmark legislation aimed at addressing gender disparities and ensuring equal opportunities for all,” Ms. Anamela noted. “However, its effectiveness is hampered by the lack of funding for the establishment and functioning of the Gender Commission. This is a critical oversight that needs immediate attention.”

NGOCC’s call for a National Referendum to address the Bill of Rights and their demand for gender-responsive budgets and the operationalization of the Gender Equity and Equality Act have garnered support from various stakeholders, including civil society organizations, women’s rights advocates, and concerned citizens.

Dr. Jane Mwamba, a gender equality advocate, stated, “It is disheartening to see that the government has not allocated resources for the constitution review and the establishment of the Gender Commission. These are fundamental steps towards a more inclusive and equitable society.

Source: BNN Breaking

Back to top button