FIRST Lady Christine Kaseba is committed to supporting the advancement of women empowerment.
Dr Kaseba called on Government to create a conducive environment that would make women's initiatives flourish.
She said this when she officiated at the launch of the Women Build event where four families were helped build their own houses in Lusaka yesterday.
Dr Kaseba said poor housing had serious effects on women and children and that lack of shelter and privacy could lead to increased exposure to sexual and other forms of violence.
"Lack of shelter and privacy can lead to increased exposure to sexual and other forms of violence by the men," she said.
She said the move by Habitat for Humanity to help vulnerable women build their homes would help reduce the more than three million inadequate housing shortfall in Zambia.
She said Government appreciated the organisation's ability to avail affordable decent accommodation to the vulnerable women.
Dr Kaseba said decent housing helps guarantee a healthy satisfied workforce and increases productivity.
She urged other corporate entities to emulate Habitat for Humanity to provide shelter to vulnerable people and support linkages that could further empower the benefiting families.
She said women should be empowered so that they were freed from poverty, disease and gender inequality.
"Sadly most of our women have not yet been freed from poverty, disease and gender inequality that continues to affect the social and economic sectors," she said.
And Habitat for Humanity national director Joseph Munsanje said the organisation had so far empowered over 20,000 families in Zambia with low cost housing solutions.
He said housing poverty in the country was high and statistics indicated that Zambia needed over 1.3 million housing units.
He said only two per cent of women in developing countries like Zambia owned their own land.