By Bennie Mundando

THE Non-governmental Gender Organisations’ Coordinating (NGOCC) has jumped to the defense of vice president Inonge Wina from human rights activist Brebnar Changala, linking it to creation of an unfavorable and hostile environment for women in politics.

NGOCC chairperson Mary Mulenga today said Mr. Changala’s attacks, which emanated from Ms. Wina’s responses in Parliament, were unfortunate especially that they were coming from an activist himself.

Ms. Mulenga said Ms. Wina remained Zambia’s first female Vice President and the women’s movement in Zambia was proud to have nurtured an activist and a leader that had attained such a high position in the corridors of power dominated by men.

She said the NGOCC acknowledged the governance and other socio-economic challenges that had beset Zambia with Ms. Inonge Wina as Republican Vice President such as the recent sad revelations of corruption especially in the health sector, among others.

She however said as an organisation, NGOCC found the personal attacks against Ms. Wina extremely unfortunate.

As the women’s movement, we have known Mr. Changala to be an activist and defender of women’s rights and therefore the manner in which his sentiments were raised were disturbing and devoid of someone who should be championing the end to women’s discrimination.

While Ms. Wina is part of the entire Government machinery, it will be unfair to blame her personally for the failure of the State. The mention of her late husband exemplifies the deeply entrenched patriarchy and seems to suggest that husbands are the ones that impart values, morals, and influence on how women should be modeled.

We therefore call for a more holistic approach in demanding for accountable and transparent leadership that is devoid of any chauvinism and personal attacks. Additionally, NGOCC notes with sadness that women in politics continue to be victims of unwarranted personal sexist attacks and in many cases sexual favours as was recently quoted in the media,” Ms. Mulenga said.

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