In 1995 the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action was developed at the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China. This event is known to have been the largest gathering of gender equality advocates. A quarter of a century later, the panel debated on important milestones in the direction towards a gender just society and the remaining barriers preventing women and girls from an equal participation in all areas of life. Since as of today, no country can claim to have achieved gender equality so that women still face an extreme underrepresentation in all spheres. In the political sphere for example only 26 / 164 members of parliament in Zambia are female. Thus, parliament fails to adequately represent society. The deep roots of a patriarchal system cause women to be underrepresented in all spheres.
On Friday 6th March 2020 the Zambian National Women’s Lobby (ZNWL) in cooperation with the FES Zambia invited to the International Women’s Day Dialogue and Engagement Forum at the Hilton Garden Inn in Lusaka to discuss upon the issue of gender inequality with the motto: 25 Years Post Beijing: The Role of Women and Men in Realizing Gender Justice.
Besides all obstacles, different achievements have been made: the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development has set six targets to be attained in order to eliminate all gender-based violence by 2015. The SADC Gender Protocol Barometer, which is updated annually by the Southern African Gender Protocol Alliance and measures the commitments at Member State level. According to the Barometer 11 States have so far adopted legislations that deal with domestic violence and a majority of the Member States has developed National Action Plans to end gender violence.
However, as women remain in unfavorable conditions, there is a call for equal pay, equal sharing of domestic work, ending sexual harassment and all other kinds of violence against women, accurate health-care services, equal participation in political life and decision-making.