A senior priest at Lusaka’s Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Rev. Derrick Muwina, has challenged the Anglican church in Central Africa to encourage women to take up positions of leadership in the church. Mr. Muwina, an assistant to Canon William Vwapu, was quoted recently in the Weekly Angel newspaper urging the younger generation to redress gender imbalances in the church. “We must deliberately encourage a policy in which women are not looked down upon. The problem is that in the Anglican church, we look down on women as is the case in secular society,” said Mr. Muwina. The (Anglican) Church of the Province of Central Africa includes Botswana, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe. In Zambia, Anglicans represent about two per cent or 225,000 people out of a population of 11.2 million. The province is among 14 out of 37 churches in the worldwide Anglican Communion that do not ordain women as priests. Another priest, Rev. Samuel Zulu, said it was imperative to promote gender equality to match the commitments of the Southern Africa Development Community, which states that women should occupy at least 30 per cent of decision-making positions in the grouping’s member countries.