Human rights violations : a critical appraisal of women's rights in Zambia
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Violations of women's rights are as old as recorded history. In Zambia, women have always been marginalized as regards the enjoyment of their rights. This is especially true of women in the legal profession where most of the high legal offices are occupied by men. These violations do not only happen in legal employment. It has been found female students also encounter discrimination from all stakeholders in the School of Law. These include the male students who do not regard their female counterparts as capable of studying law. From the lecturers, this discrimination comes in form asking questions that demean the female students. There are also unconfirmed rumors of sexual harassment by these lecturers of the students. What further perpetuates these violations is the fact that local legislation does not specifically provide for protection of women's rights. This means that women in the legal profession do not have any redress, generally, as there are no laws to protect them. For example, the Constitution of Zambia does not specifically guarantee women's rights.The Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination is an international instrument which contains comprehensive provisions relating to women's rights. For example the document contains other classes of rights such as second generation rights, chief among them are the Rights to Education and Employment, which are cardinal to the enjoyment of legal education and employment in Zambia. However, this document is not applicable domestically in Zambia. It has been suggested that in order to ensure that female law students are employed upon graduation from the Law School, law firms must be compelled to take them in for sponsorship to ZIALE and subsequent employment so that the numbers of women in private practice increases.
- Law