Friday, January 18, 2008

Maureen launches EAWS

Maureen launches EAWS
By Ntalasha Mutale
Friday January 18, 2008 [03:00]

FIRST lady Maureen Mwanawasa has launched the Inaugural Empowering Women Symposium (EAWS) to be held in Lusaka in August 2008. In a statement, Maureen said the EAWS was aimed at creating awareness of gender-sensitivity and mobilising and empowering women across Southern Africa.

“The liberation of the female resource for development is a “continental challenge” and it is important that organisations, non-governmental oragnisations, investor communities support the objectives of the EAWS, which will help us to continue to collaborate and enhance the role of women in furthering economic development,” Maureen said.

She said the launch of the EAWS was in line with the vision and national gender policy of the Zambian government which was to achieve full participation of both men and women in development at all levels.

“The EAWS is a public and private sector initiative which reflects and encourages commitment from both the government as well as the private sector organisations in promoting the role of women as enablers of national growth,” she said.
She said the EAWS was an initiative to mobilise Southern Africa to include governments, policy-makers and other stakeholders to review and begin the process of enhancing the role of women as talented individuals.
And speaking at the EAWS partner launch on Wednesday evening, Gender and Women in Development minister Patricia Mulasikwanda encouraged Zambians to take control of the economy by becoming local investors and run side-by-side with the foreign investors.

One World Africa executive director Priscilla Jere urged the government to expedite the implementation of the Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) in order to accelerate the smooth flow of information in its various formats.
“The ICT policy recognises the role information plays in the empowerment of women. As One World Africa, we are proud to have been in the formulation of the ICT policy particularly women,” she said.

Chairperson for the steering committee on EAWS Orlean Moyo said the most crucial aspect the EAWS was facing was the commitment and pledge which set aside 20 per cent of every dollar raised in funding and sponsorship towards the empowering women trust fund whose activities would be channelled towards many more women programmes in Zambia.

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