Quotas for Women – Governments in Action

We’re absolutely delighted to feature content from the excellent publication titled Alchemy Women in Leadership (AWiL). The year end edition is available for reading online, however, below is an article from the 2011 edition.

Quotas for Women  – Governments in action

There are many women’s issues which I think we could learn from and which we regularly channel to the Ministry of Gender, but in addition to them I think professional bodies like Alchemy should be kept in the loop and even work together with MOG in order to strengthen existing mechanisms for women’s issues in Zambia.

The news from this end is that the Malaysian Prime Minister Dato Sri Najib bin tun Abdul razak recently (25th June 2011) introduced a government policy which compels corporations and other reputable companies to include 30% women as Directors on their Boards. This has to be implemented within the next 5 years!

Already Malaysia has attained 32% women in top decision-making positions within the public sector/governemnt structures.

Also the Minister for Women, Family and Community Development Senator Dato Sri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil recently held (25th July 2011) a Women’s Summit (see: www.thewomenssummit.org ) in which this idea was expounded with experts from the US, UK and Malaysia itself as resource persons on how to operationalise the new quota system. It was very interesting and all the presentations are online.

What I wish to propose is that professional bodies like Alchemy should work closely with Ministry of Gender to firstly, update the National Gender Policy, secondly strategies as to the key women’s issues in view of Zambia’s improved economic status and also in view of the various pieces of legislation which have resolved other basic issues like; gender-based violence, intestate and testate succession, and property ownership.

We need to think of other meaningful ways to bringing women to a level where they can compete internationally and can play meaningful roles in our country. Anyway just wanted to share this info with you- and hope to hear from you soonest!

Michelle M. Manda
Deputy high Commissioner – Zambia high Commission, Malaysia

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