MEN are cowards who are responsible for the mess that the country is in, UPND national secretary Mutale Nalumango has said.
She made the remarks during a symposium organised by the NGOCC to discuss “women participation in politics and political violence” on the eve of the International Women’s Day at Best Western Plus Lusaka Grand.
Nalumango said violence had a negative effect on women irrespective of whom it was targeted at.
She urged women to speak against violence because they were the most affected.
“We are women, we make society, we shape society. Don’t worry about the males, they are cowards,” Nalumango told the audience comprising journalists, university students and women’s rights activists.
She said women had been created as helpers for men to make the world better.
“Basically, when you need a helper, it’s because you have failed. God saw that man alone would not make it until there’s a woman. It is from this premise that we must stand strong. Men will mess up the world, they will mess up society, they are messing up Zambia and we are watching,” Nalumango said.
Nalumango urged the women to fully participate in ending violence because they were equal to the task.
“I am only a woman to my husband, to the rest I am a colleague. If you are going to carry your being feminine everywhere then people will take advantage of you,” she said.
Nalumango, a former deputy speaker and information minister in the MMD government, urged women to only submit to their husbands and not all men.
“We are not competing with the men but we are equal to the task of shaping the society,” she said.
Nalumango argued that to end political violence, political parties needed to be in the forefront while constitutional reforms were needed to encourage the participation of women in politics.
She said without constitutional and legal reforms to guarantee the number of women in politics, their numbers shall forever remain low.
Nalumango said political violence irrespective of who it was targeted at affected the women.
She urged women to speak out against violence in their political parties.
“How can we even sit in political parties and allow violence?” she asked.
Nalumango said at the moment ending violence was difficult because the violence of the ruling party was not regarded as such.
“We have reached very dangerous levels and we are pleading with those in power to end violence, it is almost as if violence has now been legalised,” she said.
Nalumango said as a woman, she felt pain when she saw youths being used as tools of violence or “youth security”.