Following is the text of UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed’s video message on the launch of the Zambia Chapter of the African Women Leaders Network, in Lusaka, Zambia, today:
Her Excellency Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Former President of Liberia; the Vice‑President of the Republic of Zambia; Zambia’s First Lady; the Honourable Chief Justice; the Speaker of the National Assembly; Cabinet ministers; Members of Parliament; United Nations colleagues; representatives of civil society organizations; ladies and gentlemen,
It is a pleasure to address the launch of the African Women Leadership Network in Zambia. Today marks the start of heightened efforts to turn the clock forward for women and girls in Zambia.
Women have taken a central role in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic and in taking action against climate change. They have led efforts to address violence against women and girls. Their contributions and leadership across all walks of life are changing Zambia for the better and are bringing the country closer to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
I am pleased to see continued momentum, from the high-level dialogue on increasing women’s participation in electoral processes that I attended, towards bold and transformative actions to enhance the leadership of women in the country.
I call upon all women in Zambia and Africa to advocate for taking their rightful place in communities and take on leadership roles in all sectors and I urge all men everywhere to become champions and support women’s leadership.
The Secretary-General has presented five transformative recommendations to achieve gender equality in this generation: repealing all gender-discriminatory laws; promoting gender parity in all spheres and at all levels of decision-making; facilitating women’s economic inclusion by providing access to jobs and opportunities; ensuring greater inclusion of younger women; and implementing an emergency response plan to prevent and end gender-based violence.
I am confident that the Women Leaders Network can provide the necessary impetus and commitment to turn these into action and deliver a step change on SDG 5. I wish you a successful event. Thank you.