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By Belliah K Theise

 b6_edited.jpegThis week ‘s memo is about  the next Zambian president. Who should take the Zambian presidential sit in 2011?

I hate to admit this, the truth is, our leaders are always voted by villagers, marketeers and street boys who have no clue about education and foreign policies. 

 According to our observation, most politicians have a way to get into a mind of a person with little knowledge or no knowledge at all.  This includes developed countries. If you take a close look on politics, you will find that people end up voting for a candidates who keeps preaching what voters want to hear. People will go out to vote just because of a hear say,  without assessing a candidate  in practical terms.

In most cases, political Candidates have a tendency to study what the audience want to hear. Any one can stand and say I will give you jobs, bring rich breakfast, lunch and dinner in your home. Zambian Voters will listen because there are no jobs and are in poverty. As a candidate, you are happy when people vote for you. Are you going to keep your promise once you are voted in office?

 Practically, things always turns out to be different from all the promises that politicians make.

it’s time for candidates who are aspiring, to start preaching on practical issues and not to give fake hopes to people. Talk about real things that affects the economy of every country, and explain, to voters that it is not an easy path to bring stability to the country, it takes hard work and devotion to make things happen.

Disappointments, comes out when a candidate makes fake promises, do something else after being voted into office. We ask all the aspiring candidates to be more practical in the way they make promises to people, to avoid early disappointments.

It is not fair for voters  who have no clue on “Inflation” or economics, who listens innocently and line up to vote for a candidate who later does something contrary to his/her promise.

Zambia has highly experienced ,knowledgeable, and educated people.  Why is it that Zambians ends up voting for wrong leaders?

Could it be that all the educated Zambians, are too frustrated with the system, and has opted to sit back and watch, while the poor Zambian villagers , marketeers and street boys take their stand to vote for what they hear from those who can read their minds and give them fake promises? or could it be that qualified leaders and educated Zambians are  too busy with other duties and other personal stuff, or they are not brave enough to fight for their people or  is it lack of bringing themselves out with a positive approach to their fellow Zambians?

 If you are candidate or a voter. It is time to revisit your weaknesses and try to improve on them.

Our advice is:

Avoid:  Hate, tribal, gossip, and malicious rumors. By all means, should not be used as a tool to pick a right candidate for president. Validate each rumor, use your own discretion and common sense. Avoid operating like robots that are programed to perform certain functions.  Operating like a robot, makes both leaders and their voters look like idiots, when things go sour.

Remember:

Not every rumor or gossip is true. Yes there is no smoke without fire, but you have to remember that humans always enjoy negatives that appear on a candidate without using their good sense of judgement or common sense, they vote basing on those facts. If a negative outweighs a positive side of a candidate, it takes away all the good work he/she has done.

Remember, Media and campaigns are there to help voters to pick the best candidate, but at the same time, uses that as a tool to bring down a candidate, if the opponent has strong links to the media.  Many great leaders are brought down in no seconds, and voters end up voting for useless candidates.

Again… use your common sense and your good judgement, when you read negatives that comes flying on potential candidates.

On that note, we decided to re-visit Inonge Mbikusita Lewanika’s profile, as she seem to be carrying all the package of what makes a great president.

We at Zambian Chronicle, would like to see Dr Inonge Mbikusita Lewanika, contest for president in 2011. We have well rounded Zambian candidates like, HH and Many more, Inonge adds to the package.

For years, Zambians have had a problem when it comes to picking a president. It’s time to check where Zambians go wrong when it comes to voting?

Weakness:

We Vote with emotions, tribal, rumors and hate, Worse more when it comes to gender. 

In the end we get disappointed with our own voting when things go in a different direction. 

May be it is time to turn around, and look seriously inside lives and works of the aspiring candidates, without looking at a tribe, relations, cheap gossips or malicious rumors.

It is even more difficult to convince a Zambian mind, when it comes to women leadership.

When we look at Zambians, we see a lot of potential candidates men and women, that can lead us in 2011, and bring light to Zambia. 

I am not here advocating for Inonge because I am a woman.

Here at Zambian Chronicle, we are looking at the credentials, Education and experience.

Zambia needs a candidate for president, that has both local and foreign policy experience. As an African country we can not rule out education. It should be very cardinal  in this aspect.

 Therefore when it comes to choosing a president, let us open our eyes and pick quality and not quantity.

Inonge Mbikusita Lewanika and Hakainde Hichilema are both quality.

Having said that, Zambian Chronicles will continue to bring out candidates, that we think can make great president for Zambia in the future.

As we pointed out, in our earlier debates, Hakainde Hichilema and Inonge Mbikusita Lewanika, have the real package.

Therefore, without looking at the tribes and gender, we feel Inonge can make a great president for Zambia for 2011. This includes, the appointees of ministers and local government officials.

This forum may help the next Zambian President to pick right candidates for certain roles.

Below is Inonge ‘s profile and credentials:

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Princess Inonge Mbikusita-Lewanika (born 10 July 1943, Senanga) is a senior Zambian politician currently. For more about her check

http://www.inongelewanika.com/family.htm

   1.   Dr. Inonge Mbikusita-Lewanika is currently Ambassador of the Republic of Zambia to the United States of America . Before her appointment to Washington D.C.

 2. She was Ambassador and Special Envoy to the Zambian President during his term as Chairman of the African Union.

3. Dr. Lewanika served as a Member of Parliament in the Zambian Parliament from 1991 to 2001. She was the first Chairperson of the Zambia All Party Women Parliamentarians Caucus and also founding Vice-chairperson of the outhern, Eastern and Horn of Africa African Women Parliamentarian Caucus.

  

4. At a very critical time just before national elections in 2001, Dr. Lewanika chaired the National Crisis Committee of the Alliance of Opposition Political Parties.

5.  She is a former candidate for President of the Republic of Zambia in the December 2001 Elections.

6.  She is an Educator by profession and has worked in various levels of Education.

Prior to her involvement in politics, Dr. Lewanika worked with UNICEF in key leadership roles in Africa overseeing more than twenty countries at a time. Jim Grant, the former head of UNICEF once called her “the most knowledgeable person about the children of Africa .” Dr. Lewanika was among five women from various continents to brief members of the United Nations Security Council on the first and unprecedented debate that resulted in UN Resolution 13 on WOMEN, PEACE and SECURITY in the year 2000. She was among sixteen (16) eminent African Women Members of the Organization of African Unity (now African Union) Committee on Peace and Development, an Advisory Group to the African Union.

She was President of Federation of African Women’s Peace Networks (FERFAP) from 1997 to 2002. As President of the Federation of African Women Peace Networks (FEFAP) she contributed to mobilization of peace activities. In that capacity, she was selected to be among ten prominent African Women Peace Workers that visited Rwanda soon after the genocide. She later led a United Nations delegation to Burundi and Rwanda to assess the effects of the genocide on women and children and recommend intervention strategies. She led the Electoral Institute of Southern Africa (EISA) Observer Mission of 96 Southern African

Academicians, Researchers and Members of Civil Society to the Zimbabwean Presidential, Mayoral and Council Elections in 2002. She was one of the International Youth Foundation’s founding board members.

Dr. Lewanika holds a Ph.D. in Early Childhood and Primary Education from New York University . She is a mother of two grown daughters, a grandmother to four boys and a grand daughter. She has lived in five countries and speaks eight languages.

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A look at more of  Inonge Mbikusita Lewanika’s work Below: 

After 30 years of promoting girls’ education in the less-developed world, aid workers are now realizing that it is not enough to simply open the school door to girls. Unemployment, clean water and HIV/AIDS are now also on their agenda.
Inonge Mbikusita-LewanikaWASHINGTON (WOMENSENEWS)–Like many aid workers and activists trying to improve the lives of women in developing countries, Inonge Mbikusita-Lewanika has long viewed education as the key to solving many of her countrywomen’s problems.Mbikusita-Lewanika, a former member of Zambia’s parliament and now the country’s ambassador to the United States, says the benefits of educating girls are so numerous– from raising marrying ages and lowering birth rates to stemming health and economic problems–that she would like to install a plaque reading “Send the Girls to School” in every village.But 30 years after the U.S. government and other aid-givers began to promote gender equality in their programs, they, like Mbikusita-Lewanika, have learned that relieving the burdens of poor women is more complex than once thought. Foreign aid officials from the United States, United Kingdom, United Nations and various nongovernmental organizations say that it is not enough to open the school door to girls if their families are besieged by unemployment, unclean water, labor-intensive household chores and, increasingly, debilitating health problems such as HIV/AIDS. Nor is it enough to get a few women elected to the parliament or congress while women in the countryside still suffer age-old discriminations.To succeed, say aid experts, gender-equality programs must be integrally incorporated into the aid process from top to bottom, beginning with constant attention to gender issues at the policy level and ending with a wide distribution of burden-relieving aid in the rural areas where discrimination is often most ingrained.In Africa, for instance, women perform about 75 percent of agricultural work, according to Mark Blackden, the lead economist in the World Bank’s Poverty Reduction and Management of Gender Equity Division. He estimates the continent’s per-capita income would have doubled over the last 30 years if women had been given more aid and education to help with crop production. But aid givers have only recently realized that “one does indeed need to talk about the African farmer and her husband,” Blackden said.Instead, because of cultural misunderstandings, they have often directed agricultural education and technology to men. As a result, Mbikusita-Lewanika said, it is not uncommon to see men sitting on tractors as women and girls continue to cultivate with a hand hoe nearby.Clearing a small plot of land in this manner can involve 18-hour days, leaving women little time to raise their children, gather fire wood, walk long distances to find potable water and, increasingly, care for the sick. With such intensive household labor needs, Mbikusita-Lewanika said girls often have little time for school.”The average woman takes care of everyone else but herself,” Mbikusita-Lewanika said at a recent Capitol Hill briefing for legislative staff.In countries where economies have been destroyed by conflict or AIDS, another factor diminishes the rationale for education: The lack of jobs when a girl graduates. As a result, Mbikusita-Lewanika said that, while education “may be the most important investment, it may not necessarily be the first investment” that donors should undertake. For instance, providing drinking water would save women in many Zambian villages 1 1/2 hours a day, she said.In 1973, the U.S. Congress passed the Percy Amendment requiring that the nation’s foreign aid help integrate women into the mainstream of developing countries’ societies. Since then, the U.S. Agency for International Development–the main administrator of U.S. development aid–and other organizations have progressed from conducting a few gender equality projects a year to considering gender issues as a part of nearly every decision. While women’s issues once were often segregated in a separate office or set of discussions, all programs are now expected to address their impact on women.”The progress can be summed up in one sentence: It is no longer a separate thing,” USAID administrator Andrew S. Natsios told a Washington foreign aid conference earlier this month.

More Work to Be Done

Still, aid officials and activists say there is much more to do. According to the World Bank, more than 20 percent of the world’s population still lives on about $1 per day. The majority are women. And women’s burdens, especially in AIDS-stricken Africa, are growing as they bear bigger social and financial burdens.

One way donors can begin to lift that burden, Mbikusita-Lewanika told legislative staff, is to bypass governments and distribute aid money to local faith-based organizations and other groups that work at the local level and already know the intricate problems the women in their community face. Many central governments have not established effective ways to distribute help in the countryside, she said.

Other officials suggest increasing funding to fight HIV/AIDS in Africa. The $2 billion the Bush administration is prepared to spend in 2004 “is not enough,” said Kathryn Wolford, president of Lutheran World Relief, based in Baltimore.

Wolford also suggests an increased focus on debt relief for poor countries, which would free funds for social programs and infrastructure that could relieve women’s burdens.

Other activists say aid organizations need to collect and process more data showing the positive link between women’s participation and economic development. While many activists suggest that there is already too much talk about women’s problems and not enough action to solve them, economists say that more convincing evidence of the link between women’s progress and economic progress could be found.

At the foreign aid conference, Phil Evans, the senior social development adviser for the United Kingdom’s U.N. mission, said that statistical gender analyses are often riddled with “methodological problems,” in large part because researchers have focused on studying women instead of placing them in a societal context.

Some say the United States should signal its commitment to gender equality by ratifying the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, an international treaty that aims to outlaw discrimination against women and requires signatory countries to periodically report on their progress. President Carter signed the treaty in 1980 but the U.S. Senate has not ratified it as 174 nations have done.

Ratifying the treaty would send a powerful signal that the United States will join the world to “use the instruments available to us to hold countries accountable” for improving women’s lives, Geeta Rao Gupta, president of the Washington-based International Center for Research on Women, told legislative staff.

New Solutions in Afghanistan

In Afghanistan, USAID is attempting to deal with these challenges and its methods are not always very subtle. To encourage families to educate their daughters, USAID gives extra rations of vegetable oil to girls who attend school every day for a month, Natsios said. The number of girls attending school has increased overall from 6 percent to 35 percent, Natsios said, and is reaching 50 percent in some towns.

Not all of USAID’s work in Afghanistan is so targeted at women and girls but Natsios said he has found that nearly every project is having an impact on women’s status. For instance, the U.S. program that is building a 300-mile road from Kandahar to Kabul is unexpectedly improving women’s health in southern Afghanistan. Now mothers in childbirth and women in other forms of medical distress can be driven to medical facilities in Kabul in a matter of five to six hours. Before the road was built, the trip could take two days, Natsios said.

In addition, USAID has installed day-care centers in all Afghan government ministry buildings. Natsios said women who work for the ministries–many now widows with young children–said they would not return to their jobs unless their children had a safe place to go.

While many activists and government officials say gender issues are no longer seen as women’s alone, they hope the next 30 years will bring a greater resolution to age-old problems.

“It has taken a very long time to get as far as we are and (we) have a very long road to go,” said Julia Taft, assistant administrator and director of the United Nation’s Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery.

Lori Nitschke is a freelance journalist living in Washington, D.C. She was recently a Knight-Bagehot fellow at Columbia University in New York, where she received master’s degrees in journalism and business administration. Previously, she covered economic issues for Congressional Quarterly.

Copyrights © 2008 Zambian Chronicle. All rights reserved. Zambian Chronicle content may not be stored except for personal, non-commercial use. Republication and redissemination of Zambian Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Zambian Chronicle. Zambian Chronicle shall not be liable for any errors, omissions, interruptions or delays in connection with the Zambian Chronicle content or from any damages arising therefrom.

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Thandiwe Chama, 16, from Zambia (C) smiles while sitting between ...Thandiwe Chama, 16, from Zambia (C) smiles while sitting between former Peace Prize winner Betty Williams (L) and Bob Geldof during the 2007 Children’s Peace Prize award presentation in the Hague, the Netherlands December 16, 2007.

REUTERS/Michael Kooren

A SIXTEEN-year-old Zambian girl, Thandiwe Chama of Lusaka’s Chawama township has scooped the 2007 International Children’s Peace Prize beating 28 other nominees from across the world.

According to a Press release issued yesterday, the prestigious prize was presented to Thandiwe in The Hague on Sunday by Nobel Peace Laureate, Betty Williams and Live8 initiator, Sir Bob Geldof.

The Children’s Peace Prize, an initiative of the KidsRights Foundation, is awarded annually to a child who has made an exceptional contribution to children’s rights.

The Prize consists of a statuette – “the Nkosi” – and 100,000 euros, which are to be awarded to a direct aid project in the spirit of the young winner’s efforts.

The statuette was named after the first winner Nkosi Johnson who was awarded the prize posthumously in 2005 for the great contribution he made during his tragically short life to the position of children with AIDS.

Last year’s winner, the former child slave Om Prakash from India, was received by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who on that occasion announced an extra contribution of 200 million pounds toward education for the poor and prevention of child labour.

The prize was launched in Rome in 2005 by the Nobel Peace Laureates, during the Nobel for Peace Summit chaired by Mikhail Gorbachev.

In 1999, when she was only eight-years-old, her school was closed because there were no teachers. Thandiwe refused to accept this and led 60 other children in walking to find another school. As a result, all the children were taken into the Jack Cecup School

Strengthened by this achievement, Thandiwe has been fighting ever since for the right to education for all children.

Thandiwe continues to impress, for example by speaking in church about children and AIDS – an issue not always discussed easily in churches. With a friend, she wrote and illustrated a booklet called “The Chicken with AIDS”, telling young children about the perils of AIDS.

She also co-authored a song called “For My Sake” about the need for children to be supported and protected – a song which has already been played in South Africa, Tanzania, as well as the United Kingdom.

Sources: Times of Zambia, Reuters & Associated Press

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2007-05-16-zambia-3_200.jpgElection results are very interesting to analyze because they are a true indicator of the actual demographical sentiment and performance during campaigns.

A closer look at the last elections reveals a tonne of information; some of it too scary to explore. 

For instance, the MMD performed exemplary well among the illiterate and the semi-literate segments of the population while the elites voted for the opposition en masse. 

They (MMD) performed well among the low to lower income earning classes but poorly among the middle to upper income classes … 

Their performance (MMD’s) among the village to rural dwellers outclassed theirs among the city to urban counterparts.  

These stats are critical to an overall analysis of party performance and could be very important for future tactical and strategic considerations. 

All things being equal, it would therefore be safe to say that the MMD is a party run by the elites that sell well among the illiterate to semi-illiterate.  

These elites find it easy to convince village dweller and lower class people than they do otherwise among compatriot of diametric segments. 

So, what then is the future of such a party? Would such a party be self-interested in keeping the majority of the population village-wise and uneducated so it could keep winning among the base? 

Would such a party evolve and start to find ways to attract those of the other dichotomies or would it continue to encourage bwembwarism to keep its hold on power?  

If human development is the cry of every free human spirit then it is just a question of time and the MMD will be no more … 

The last election results present the opposition with a challenge to soul search and decide as to whether they are actually different from the incumbents. 

They need to realize that together they got the majority vote but because the vote was split, the MMD got the presidency back and it is time they strongly considered a two party democracy if progress has to be achieved. 

Having sad the above, things may be different should the first lady get her party nomination due to the G Factor. The G stands for gender because women tend to stick together more as they show support using girl power. classy-daddy-3.gif

As CSO figures currently stand, we have more women than men in our population; consented voter-drives might prove very powerful and usher the MMD back into State House come 2011 with different demographics.

We don’t even know if the first lady would be interested in running but if she is, things would be changed forever and the stakes may move in a different direction.  

And that’s this week’s memo from us here at the Zambian Chronicle.  Happy holidays … thanks a trillion.  

Brainwave R Mumba, Sr.

CEO & President – Zambian Chronicle

Copyrights © 2007 Zambian Chronicle. All rights reserved. Zambian Chronicle content may not be stored except for personal, non-commercial use. Republication and redissemination of Zambian Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Zambian Chronicle. Zambian Chronicle shall not be liable for any errors, omissions, interruptions or delays in connection with the Zambian Chronicle content or from any damages arising therefrom.

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Li Changchun (R), member of the Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee Political Bureau, shakes hands with Zambia's Minister of Foreign Affairs Kabinga Pande, also vice president of the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD), in Beijing, China, Nov. 14, 2007.  (Xinhua Photo)

Li Changchun (R), member of the Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee Political Bureau, shakes hands with Zambia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Kabinga Pande, also vice president of the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD), in Beijing, China, Nov. 14, 2007.  (Xinhua Photo)

 

    BEIJING, Nov. 14 (Xinhua) — Senior CPC leader Li Changchun met with Kabinga Pande, vice president of Zambia’s Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD), on Wednesday, calling on the two sides to step up bilateral ties.

    Li, a member of the Standing Committee of the Central Committee Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC), highlighted the development of China’s relations with Zambia since the two nations forged diplomatic relations 43 years ago. He said that the friendly and cooperative relations between the two nations had set an example for ties between China and other African nations.

    The two countries have shared a solid historical and social foundation to boost ties, Li said, noting that the two sides maintained frequent high-level exchange, expanded their political mutual trust and had forged close coordination on many international issues in recent years.

    He expressed his appreciation to Zambia’s long-term adherence to the one-China policy, saying that the CPC valued its ties with MMD and would make concerted efforts with the MMD side to boost bilateral cooperation.

    “I hope the cooperation will serve not only to increase mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples and two parties, but also to help boost bilateral relations,” the CPC leader said.

    Pande, also Zambia’s Foreign Minister and a special envoy of Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa, extended his congratulations on the successful convening of the 17th National Congress of the CPC. He said he hoped to fortify the friendly relations between the two countries.

    He reiterated that Zambia would continue to stick to the one-China policy.

    Pande arrived here on Sunday as a guest of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee.

    In addition to Beijing, he will also visit China’s economic powerhouse Shanghai and Nanchang in Jiangxi Province. While in the central province he will study China’s rural development and poverty alleviation, an official with the department said.

Editor: Jiang Yuxia

 

Source: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2007-11/14/content_7075319.htm

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UNCTAD’s Blue Book on Best Practice in Investment Promotion and Facilitation of Zambia has won Africa Investor Magazine’s 2007 award in the category of ‘Smart Regulation’.

The award represents an important endorsement of UNCTAD’s Blue Book programme, which assists African governments to strengthen their investment environment by developing action plans of clearly detailed and practical measures that can be implemented within a year.

The Blue Book of Zambia, which recommends investment promotion activities and minor legislative or regulatory changes, was specifically designed to help the Government achieve the objective of, in its own words, “creating a vibrant private sector that would be exposed to competitive best practices at the international level.”

Zambia’s Blue Book is the seventh produced by UNCTAD with financing from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation.Blue Books have been produced for five countries in Africa (Ghana, Kenya, United Republic of Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia) and two in South-East Asia (Cambodia and Lao PDR).
Zambian Vice President Rupiah Banda presents the Blue Book at its launch in March 2007

Zambian Vice President Rupiah Banda presents the Blue Book at its launch in March 2007.

Since the Blue Book was launched by Zambian Vice President H.E. Rupiah Banda in March this year, seven of the ten measures are either under implementation or have been completed, some with direct UNCTAD assistance.

This includes an investor forum for Indian pharmaceutical companies and the design of a business linkages programme. The book also led to strong debate between the government and the private sector on the liberalization of the international voice gateway.

The high rate of implementation is in no small part due to the personal commitment of the Vice President to the project; high level leadership is a key feature of UNCTAD’s Blue Books.

Source: UNCTAD

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Zambian first Lady Maureen Mwanawasa

Zambian first Lady Maureen Mwanawasa hands out condoms in Lusaka

Zambian first Lady Maureen Mwanawasa is encouraging women  to demand safer sex from their partners, not negotiate for it. Mrs Mwanawasa recently made the statement at the launch of the FC2 female condom campaign at the Lusaka City Market, handing out condoms to the public.

“Negotiating for safer sex is a term that has become accepted world wide, yet, it puts a woman at the mercy of a man,” Mrs Mwanawasa told the Lusaka market crowd. “I do not believe that a woman should negotiate for safer sex, but demand safer sex.”

Mrs Mwanawasa added that safer sex is achievable if leaders, and women themselves, take up the challenge. Mrs Mwanawasa’s statements point out how important women’s empowerment and gender equality is to reducing the escalating numbers of women living with HIV.

With World AIDS Day just less than a month away, the new product is a welcome addition to the market in the country. Zambia, like other countries in the Sub-Saharan Africa, is struggling to cope with the impact of HIV/AIDS. Women are the hardest hit.

At the end of 2005, UNAIDS and the World Health Organisation estimated that in Zambia 17 percent of people aged 15-49 years old were living with HIV or AIDS. Of these million adults, 57 percent were women. Young women aged 15-19 are around six times more likely to be living with HIV than are males of the same age.

One of the reasons for greater vulnerability is gender inequality. Women disproportionately bear the burden of poverty and continue to be victims of widespread and persistent discrimination in all areas of life. They are also the primary agents of child welfare and put their lives at risk every time they become pregnant.

Zambian gender activists hold that women also play an indispensable role in the management of natural resources, economic development, and education. They have the right to gain as much as men from the benefits brought by globalisation. If not addressed, HIV/AIDS will make it even harder for women to play their role in the development of the country.

The first lady took time hand out free samples of the female condom and talk to the pressing market crowd, made of mostly women, to explain the advantages of using protective measures during sex. Her actions should be an example in the country, and the region as a whole, to inspire both individuals and leaders to ensure protection of women.

“Our first lady must be commended for the job well done, it is the first to happen in Zambia where the first lady goes to mix with women from the densely populated areas and distribute the condoms herself, women must emulate her,” said one of the recipients of condoms at the market.

In Zambia, women often have very limited opportunities to demand safer sex, due to unequal power relationships within relationships. Interventions are rarely designed to be more user-friendly, accessible and available to them. Designing products made for women is one way to assist women to demand safer sex.

Producers of the newly launched FC2 condom say that it is a better version of the other female condoms currently on the market and urge women to take advantage of the product.

The UN’s Population Fund (UNFPA) resident representative Deji Popoola, who was present at the launch and distribution of female condoms, said the condoms would be available on the market. Mr Popoola called on men to support women’s rights and gender equality, especially when it come reproductive health.

Two hundred thousands condoms are available for free distribution. Yet, urban women are at a greater advantage, as such things as condoms are much more easily found in the cities and towns. For rural women, these condoms are unlikely to be within easy reach.

Ms Mwanawasa, who is also the president of the Organisation of African First Ladies (OAFLA) against HIV/AIDS, has taken the lead in empowering women to stand up for their rights. OAFLA’s key strategy is to promote the development of effective strategies to empower women and address issues of gender inequality, as well as challenge gender norms that predisposed women to infection.

Unless governments and service providers address these gender inequalities, it will be difficult for women to protect themselves. First Lady Maureen Mwanawasa has pointed out that it is time for women “to demand the protection and equality that is their right.”

By Violet Mengo. Ms Mengo writes for the Daily Mail in Zambia and is a member of the Gender and Media Southern African (GEMSA) Network.

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By Lester Pimentel

Oct. 29 (Bloomberg) — Argentine bonds gained after first lady Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner won the country’s presidential election in a peaceful vote, dashing concern that the weekend could be marred by violence and claims of fraud.

“It’s post-election relief,” said Claudia Calich, who manages $1 billion in emerging-market debt for Invesco Inc. in New York. “There’s always a possibility that things can go wrong in any election.”

The government’s benchmark bond due in 2033 rose 4.25 cents on the dollar to 99.25 at 4:24 p.m. in New York, pushing the yield down 39 basis points to 8.34 percent, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co. A basis point equals 0.01 percentage point. The bonds also gained on speculation that Fernandez may make a restructuring offer to creditors who held out of the country’s 2005 debt renegotiation.

“There’s market talk they may revisit the issue and offer better conditions,” Luis Costa, an emerging-market strategist at ING Bank NV in London.

Holders of about $20 billion of defaulted Argentine debt rejected the government’s 2005 offer that paid about 30 cents on the dollar. Failure to reach an accord with the holdouts has prevented Argentina from tapping international credit markets.

With 96.4 percent of polling stations reporting, Fernandez, a 54-year-old senator, had 44.9 percent support, compared with 23 percent for ex-congresswoman Elisa Carrio and 16.9 percent for former Economy Minister Roberto Lavagna, the electoral commission reported. Carrio conceded defeat early today.

The risk of owning Argentine bonds fell to the lowest since Oct. 18, according to data from Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. Five-year credit-default swaps based on the country’s debt declined 13 basis points to 3.74 percentage points. That means it costs $374,000 to protect $10 million of the country’s debt from default.

Emerging-Market Bonds

Argentine local bonds also gained. The yield on Argentina’s 5.83 percent inflation-linked peso bonds due December 2033 fell 9 basis points to 7.60 percent, according to Citigroup Inc.’s unit in Argentina. The bond’s principal is adjusted based on the inflation rate. The yield is the lowest since Sept. 21.

Argentina’s rally led gains in emerging-market bonds today. The extra yield investors demand to own emerging-market dollar bonds instead of U.S. Treasuries narrowed 3 basis points to 1.97 percentage points, according to JPMorgan’s EMBI Plus index. The risk premium is the lowest since Oct. 18.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lester Pimentel in New York at lpimentel1@bloomberg.net

Source: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601086&sid=aWSbSxxA.X3g&refer=news

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