Interest groups and the promotion of women participation in Zambia’s political processes: case of Zambia national women’s lobby (1991-2018).

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Lubinda, Conrad
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The University of Zambia.
Women exclusion in national development is a global problem which countries are struggling to address. In trying to address the problem, the Zambian government adopted a number of policies and Acts of Parliament among them the National Gender Policy of 2000 through Gender in Development Division (GIDD) which was later revised in 2014 after the establishment of the Ministry of Gender and Child Development (MGCD) and the Gender Equity and Equality Act of 2015. Despite Interest groups among them Zambia National Womens’ Lobby (ZNWL) coming on board to complement government effort, the problem of women exclusion in decision making processes has continued to rise. This study sought to examine ZNWL’s interventions in promoting women participation in Zambia’s political processes. The study used an evaluative case study and mixed method research approach where 24 informants were sampled through purposive (Heterogeneous) sampling. While 130 individual women were sampled using convenience and snowball sampling. In this study, qualitative data was collected using semi-structured interviews and quantitative data was collected using questionnaires. The study revealed the following; ZNWL’s interventions as it engages managements of various institutions through lobbying for women inclusion as well as raising awareness through advocacy using the media and building capacities of women meant to promote their participation in both the public and private sectors are not effective. ZNWL does not provide any direct empowerment in form of interventions to women taking part in intra-party competitions. Further, ZNWL’s empowerment programmes in form of training, financial support and campaign materials provided to women adopted to take part in national elections are not adequate to meet their costs. Training to serving civic leaders is selective. Leading to limited effectiveness of such interventions to both adopted and elected female candidates. Recommendations, ZNWL should be engaging women directly when administering its interventions in Public, Private sectors and Intra-Party competitions. Financial support and campaign materials being provided to adopted female candidates in national elections be increased. Potential female candidates be identified early so that they are helped financially to conduct community works to gain popularity. Training programmes should be continuous and not only towards general elections. Training to serving councilors, mayors/council chairpersons and members of parliament should not be selective but benefit all the elected female candidates. Future studies can be conducted on interventions being under taken by other women organizations such as NGOCC, Women for Change etc. covering other provincial towns not covered in this study and ZNWL’s interventions in promoting women participation in Socio-economic processes.
Thesis of Master of Arts in Political Science.