Zambia: Women and Youth Movements Present Manifestos to August 2021 Elections Presidential Candidates

As political parties and candidates step up their election campaigns to canvas votes, Zambian Women and Youth Movements are also set to launch and present their respective Women and Youth Manifestos to the Presidential Candidates. The women and youth manifestos reflect the collective voice of Zambia’s women and youth, the manifestos are therefore truly the .

These manifestos outline a clear development agenda and the pressing needs and priorities from the point of view of Zambian women and youth. Those seeking political leadership, particularly as the country heads towards the 2021 general elections, need to respond to and address the needs identified in the manifestos. Women and youth are collectively standing up and making their voices heard, through the manifestos’ call to action and pleas, which cannot be ignored. Furthermore, the voices reflected in the manifestos come from sections of society that tend to be excluded from decision-making processes, despite making up the majority of Zambia’s population.

The manifestos are the result of a consultative process, involving a cross-section of women and youth represented by groups and organisations at national and provincial levels. The participants who contributed to the manifestos represented different sectors including; political parties, civil society, public institutions, private sector, and tertiary education. In addition, the aspirations of young people and women with disabilities were also integrated.

Following the consultative and inclusive processes, the Women and Youth manifestos are ready to be presented to Zambia’s Presidential Candidates for the 2021 general elections. By presenting these Manifestos to the Presidential Candidates, the Zambian Women and Youth are seeking solidarity from and a demonstration of commitment by these candidates by way of having them (the Candidates) sign these Manifestos. The signing ceremony will be witnessed by a representation of Women and Youth Groups that have been pivotal to this initiative.

The signing of these manifestos, by the presidential candidates, must also be seen as a re-affirmation of what their respective political parties already committed to. Previously, during the consultative process, the preliminary findings of the women and youth’s contributions were presented to the relevant organs of the respective political parties when they (political parties) were also developing their election manifestos. It was pleasing to note the readiness and willingness of these political parties to integrate the issues coming from the consultations into the manifestos.