The Non-Governmental Organizations Coordinating Council (NGOCC) and the women’s movement has disassociated itself from allegation of compromise of its objectives by the Post Newspaper.
NGOCC board chairperson Marian Munyinda, in a statement released in Lusaka Sunday, maintained that NGOCC has, from the time of inception, been upholding its constitution and mandate of being non-partisan and focused on fighting for the rights and dignity of women and children in Zambia.
“On behalf of the women’s movement, we would like to express our great disappointment with the misrepresentation by some media organizations through which our integrity has been questioned. In the same vein we wish to state that NGOCC in its 24 years of existence has been consistent in its quest for gender equality and press freedom and would not be deterred by any obstacles and detractors,” she said.
Ms. Munyinda pointed out that by the NGOCC expressing is displeasure over the photographs that were sent to it by the Post Newspapers, the council did not compromise its principles.
She said the NGOCC was also very concerned at the impact of the strike on women as depicted in the photographs.
Ms. Munyinda noted that the misunderstanding may have arisen from the meeting NGOCC and the women’s movement had with President Rupiah Banda on June 17, 2009 and the subsequent Press Conference at State House.
She said “as the NGOCC and the women’s movement, we have always sought to meet any sitting President once elected into office, not to seek favours from, because it is not our speciality as it is now being portrayed, but to discuss various issues that continue to affect women negatively.”
Ms. Munyinda said it was important to note that the meeting with President Banda was preceded by a prior meeting with the Minister of Gender and was attended by a delegation of prominent women from various member organizations of NGOCC.
She said besides calling for a people driven constitution, the NGOCC has been consistent in calling for the gender-based violence bill that has been pending for years to enacted.
Ms. Munyinda said NGOCC has been consistent in urging government to put in place strategies that would address the high maternal mortality rates.
She explained that NGOCC has been unfailing in calling on President Banda to exercise gender sensitivity and responsiveness in increasing the number of women in decision-making.