Republic Of Zambia

United Nations Development Programme Zambia

Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland

Poverty and inequality

...growth not inclusive enough to reduce unemployment, poverty and inequalities on a sustainable basis

This spectacular economic growth trend has not translated into relative gains in employment, income, poverty reduction and gender equality. Zambia still remains a least developed country (LDC) as defined by the United Nations and ranks number 163 out of 185 countries in terms of Human Development. Poverty is still high (60.5%, 2010 CSO) especially in rural areas (77.9%, 2010 CSO).

Women face unique challenges and hurdles to effectively and gainfully participate in the economy

Available figures as at 2008 showed Zambia's Gini coefficient, standing at (0.67), indicates a very unequal income distribution and is high as compared with other middle income economies in the sub-region such as Botswana (0.5 in 2008) and South Africa (0.531 in 2009).

According to Zambia's Vision 2030, due to a number of factors, such as the low levels of education, culture, limited access and control over resources, and the division of labour, women's participation in the development process and access to employment has been impeded. Recent gender studies show that discriminatory practices, in most cases biases against women are evident and even rooted in the dual legal system in Zambia, in which both statutory and customary laws apply. There currently exist two land tenure systems in Zambia: the customary or tribal tenure and leasehold tenure. Both marginalize women in terms of allowing them to access and own land.