An Evaluation of the Extent to Which the Law protects Women in Employment Against Gender Discrimination in Zambia
Kambafwile, Ng'andwe Serena
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Women in Zambia, like the rest of the world face a number of gender based challenges even in the sphere of employment. The law, being an important instrument to society if used well can help to protect them from such challenges. This research paper presents an evaluation of the extent to which the law protects women in employment against gender discrimination in Zambia.The research methodology uses four main approaches to arrive at the study objectives. These include the presentation of a comprehensive review of various legislation in Zambia meant to protect women in employment from gender discrimination. This is followed by a qualitative analysis to show the extent to which the law protects women in employment as well as a review of the extent to which ratified international conventions on gender discrimination protect women in employment in Zambia. The study then carries out a comparative analysis of the Zambian and South African legislation on gender discrimination.Results show that the extent to which the law protects women in employment is limited. This is proven by available literature which clearly indicates that women may still face gender discrimination because of factors like the glass ceiling. This finding is also supported by the feminist jurisprudence which seeks to indicate that the law is unfair because it is made by males. Results further show that the ratified international conventions on gender discrimination are not fully effective as they are not directly applicable and enforceable in the Zambian courts. In the comparative analysis of the Zambian and South African employment legislation, results show that the South African legislation is more progressive as it seems to give women better protection in a number of ways including a longer maternity leave. It also comes out more clearly in stating that dismissal based on family responsibility, gender, sex, or marital status is unfair and shifts the burden of proof to the employer in this regard. In conclusion the paper recommends consistent law review and reform as a way to better protect Zambian women from gender discrimination in employment. The study has also noted that Zambia's legislators of the law that protects women in employment against gender discrimination have a lot to learn from their South African counterparts.
- Law