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Achieving Zambia’s Gender Parity Will Require Significant Acceleration of Policies That Promote and Sustain Women’s Economic Empowerment

LUSAKA, May 17, 2023— To achieve gender parity, Zambia requires additional work in implementing and scaling up evidence-based policies that guarantee gender equality across the intersecting dimensions of vulnerability facing women and girls in the country according to two World Bank reports that have been launched today.

The new Zambia Gender and Gender-Based Violence (GBV) Assessment reports show that while the Government of Zambia has put in place a policy and legal framework to guide the implementation of gender-responsive programming, persistent challenges remain. The challenges are noted in the lack of gender parity in the school completion rate, women’s participation in decision-making and formal employment, and in women’s high levels of poverty.

These two reports bring together the latest evidence on gender gaps in human capital, economic opportunities, ownership and control of assets, and (women’s) voice and agency; and the effectiveness of concrete policy and programmatic interventions that address these underlying drivers. Addressing the gender gap starts with recognizing the various and interconnected drivers of gender inequality.

“To successfully contribute to Zambia’s development, policies that prioritize and promote gender equality such as participation of women in decision-making positions in government and improving gender parity in education, will yield positive results,” says Nathan Belete, World Bank Country Director for Zambia.

The Zambia GBV Assessment contains sobering statistics on the rate of violence experienced by many women with 36 percent of Zambia women aged 15-49 having experienced physical violence, and 14 percent having experienced sexual violence. 

“Gender equality is a precondition for advancing development and reducing poverty in Zambia, and GBV has been acknowledged as both a cause and consequence of gender inequality. The promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women are therefore necessary steps to combat poverty and stimulate sustainable economic development,” said Sahr Kpundeh, World Bank Country Manager, Zambia.

The WBG has established the Zambia Gender and Inclusion Platform to coordinate efforts on gender-focused policy dialogue and centralize operational and analytical work. This platform generates synergies in the Bank’s wide-ranging efforts to support gender equality in Zambia, with an increased focus on strategically prioritizing those efforts that are expected to bring the most value. This platform will continue drawing on a range of analytical work that extends beyond the Gender and GBV Assessments to inform the Bank’s strategic engagement and continued support to the Government of Zambia.



In Zambia
Cheryl Khuphe
In Washington
Daniella van Leggelo-Padilla


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