Side­line women at own peril - Wina

Daily Nation Newspaper - - FRONT PAGE - By KALOBWE BWALYA

VICE PRES­I­DENT Inonge Wina says any na­tion that su­presses the voice of a woman in mat­ters of na­tional devel­op­ment will be set­ting up a dis­as­trous fu­ture for the next gen­er­a­tion.

Ms Wina has ad­vised United Na­tions mem­ber-states never to fall guilty of the of­fence of marginal­is­ing and dis­crim­i­nat­ing women in na­tional devel­op­ment be­cause the fe­males re­mained crit­i­cal to the sus­tain­able eco­nomic pro­gres­sion of all na­tions across the globe.

De­liv­er­ing a key­note ad­dress to the 62nd Session of the Com­mis­sion on the Sta­tus of Women (CSW) side event in New York themed; “The voice of women in ru­ral ar­eas for sus­tain­able healthy fu­ture: Ms Wina said the lim­ited num­ber of women in de­ci­sion-mak­ing po­si­tions and con­trol over land us­age had con­trib­uted to low agri­cul­ture pro­duc­tiv­ity among na­tions.

The Vice-Pres­i­dent said that low agri­cul­ture pro­duc­tiv­ity has of­ten led to food in­se­cu­rity among na­tions which has sub­se­quently re­sulted into poor health among women par­tic­u­larly for those liv­ing in ru­ral ar­eas

She ob­served that women of­ten make sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tions to agri­cul­ture and ru­ral economies across the globe es­pe­cially in de­vel­op­ing coun­tries where the fe­male gen­der rep­re­sents the ma­jor­ity of up to more than 70 per­cent of the labour force.

“Any na­tion that sup­presses the voice of a woman in any mat­ter of na­tional im­por­tance sets the state for a dis­as­trous fu­ture for the next gen­er­a­tion so may we never be found guilty of this of­fence, women of­ten have lim­ited de­ci­sion-mak­ing power and con­trol over land us­age and later on the out­puts.

And this con­trib­utes to low agri­cul­ture pro­duc­tiv­ity and food in­se­cu­rity lead­ing to poor health among women and girls, es­pe­cially those liv­ing in ru­ral ar­eas,” Ms Wina said.

The Vice-Pres­i­dent ex­plained that for­mu­lat­ing ef­fec­tive land ten­ure poli­cies and le­gal re­forms which would take into ac­count pre­vail­ing cus­toms and prac­tices among na­tions should im­prove mod­ern land ad­min­is­tra­tion which is key to en­sur­ing women’s healthy fu­ture.

Ms Wina said that with­out an ef­fi­cient and ef­fec­tive land ad­min­is­tra­tion sys­tem, mean­ing­ful devel­op­ment would con­tinue to elude na­tions to achieve sus­tain­able food se­cu­rity and im­proved nu­tri­tion as well as nat­u­ral re­source man­age­ment.

She said women and their or­gan­i­sa­tions should be given a voice and fully par­tic­i­pate in the de­ci­sion-mak­ing process af­fect­ing their well­be­ing in ru­ral ar­eas.

Govern­ment, she said, had de­vel­oped a Cli­mate Change Gen­der Ac­tion Plan meant to build a knowl­edge base on health; gen­der and cli­mate change link­ages and strengthen the main­stream­ing of gen­der into na­tional health poli­cies to en­sure sus­tain­abil­ity.

“The 2030 Agenda for Sus­tain­able Devel­op­ment has placed high pri­or­ity on the need to ad­dress mal­nu­tri­tion by com­mit­ting mem­ber-states to end hunger, achieve food se­cu­rity and im­proved nu­tri­tion and pro­mote sus­tain­able agri­cul­ture.

“One of the great­est chal­lenge fac­ing coun­tries es­pe­cially in the de­vel­op­ing world, is mal­nu­tri­tion in all its forms, as women and girls con­tinue to strug­gle with food in­se­cu­rity. It is crit­i­cal to en­sure that poli­cies are de­vel­oped which en­hance agri­cul­ture pro­duc­tiv­ity and food se­cu­rity as this will inevitably lead to in­creased stan­dards of health for women and girls,” she said.

Ms Wina

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