President Edgar Lungu says that he is deeply saddened with high cases of gender based violence in the country.
President Lungu further says that he is also saddened by increased cases of murder involving women adding that this must be stopped at all costs.
Speaking during International Women’s Day commemoration in Lusaka this afternoon, the president says that violence against women, children and men must be stopped.
He says that women constitute more than 50 per cent of the country’s population and therefore cannot be ignored in the pushing forward of the nation’s development agenda.
The head of state called upon all traditional leaders in the country to get involved in the fight against early marriages.
And President Lungu has directed Lands Minister Jean Kapata with support from traditional leaders to ensure that his 50-50 directive on land allocation between men and women is strictly followed.
He explained that government has put in place a legal framework that encourages women to have 50-50 equal opportunities to owning land.
Meanwhile President Lungu has reiterated that government does not have money to hold another referendum on the bill of rights.
He stated that he has heard a number of appeals from stakeholders to hold another referendum after a failed one last year, but indicated that the process is expensive.
President Lungu explained that the country has held two expensive elections in the last two years and that he now wanted to concentrate on taking resources towards ending poverty.
And Gender minister Victoria Kalima has paid tribute to President Lungu for his commitment to lifting the living standards of women.
Speaking earlier, Ms. Kalima also congratulated the head of state for being appointed the ambassador to ending child marriages in the southern region.
Ms. Kalima indicated that government is committed to reforms of ensuring equal rights for women and equal opportunities to being appointed to decision making positions.
And Ms. Kalima indicated that this year’s International Women Day commemoration had taken a different approach to showcase strides made by women.
She encouraged men and youths to support women and ensure that they fight gender based violence.