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Zambian Bishop Cautions against Appointing Women in Government for “fashion, escape route”

Bishop Charles Kasonde of Zambia’s Solwezi Diocese

The Bishop of Zambia’s Solwezi Diocese has urged political parties in the Southern African country to appoint women because they qualify for the positions in leadership and not for their own selfish reasons.

In a message published by the Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops (ZCCB) Friday, March 12, Bishop Charles Kasonde cautioned against the tendency to appoint women only to end up using them for protection.

“We do not want this to be a fashion or an escape route because you know a mother is full of trust and cannot cause any danger to you so you therefore not appoint a man to be your running mate but rather appoint a woman because she is not going to talk,” Bishop Kasonde said.

The Zambian Bishop emphasized that appointment of women in government be based on “quality.”

In Zambia, Inonge Mutukwa Wina has been the country’s Vice President since 2015. Additionally, Zambia’s largest opposition political party, the Patriotic Front, has appointed a woman as its Vice President.

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In his message on the International Women’s Day, the Bishop of Solwezi Diocese who doubles as the Chairman of the Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa (AMECEA) noted that the Church values the role women play in people’s life, adding that women have a “deeper knowledge on who human beings are.”

Making reference to the Vice President in the U.S., Kamala Harris, Bishop Kasonde said that “the world has now realized that women are very important.”

Meanwhile, Catholic Women's League National Chairperson in Zambia, Irene Mileji, has called upon women to fight against early marriages.

In her IWD report by the ZCCB, Mrs. Mileji said that the battle against gender inequalities in society cannot be won if women do not rise up and put an end to early marriages.

“You are charging high bridal prices for your girl child as a business. Stop that and look at love. That is not fair,” the Catholic Women's League official in Zambia said.

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According to ZCCB March 12 report, Mrs. Mileji said parents should look at the love their child is going to enjoy in a marriage and not money.

She further encouraged women to take their children to school instead of marrying them off at an early age.