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Malawi women to develop manifesto

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By Rebecca Chimjeka:

Over 250 women across the country have outlined issues to be featured in the Women’s Manifesto as the country prepares for the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections.

Women’s Legal Resources Centre (Wolrec) Executive Director, Maggie Kathewera- Banda, said the main idea behind the Women’s Assembly was to create a safe space for women in Malawi to deliberate on issues that affect their lives, culminating in the development of a Women’s Manifesto.

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“The Women’s Manifesto (WM) will be a living tool that expresses women’s voices, rights and aspirations on issues that affect their lives and require attention from leaders across the board,” said Kathewera-Banda at a function that took place in Lilongwe.

She said women drawn from different sectors and regions of Malawi have been involved in the development of the manifesto so that it represents aspirations of all women in Malawi.

“The Women’s Manifesto will also be a point of reference to holding duty-bearers accountable in fulfillment of women’s rights as contained in the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi. In the run up to the 2019 tripartite elections and beyond, the manifesto will be also used to demand commitment from political leaders and other duty-bearers with regard to fulfillment of women’s rights,” she said.

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Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare Minister, Jean Kalilani, commended organisations involved in the initiative.

“We, as women, need to be courageous and speak out on issues that affect us,” Kalilani said.

Oxfam Regional Director in Southern Africa, Nellie Nyang’wa, pledged continued support to the cause of women empowerment.

“Oxfam will continue to support such kind of initiatives,” she said.

The meeting was organised by Oxfam Malawi, Wolrec, Hivos, Action Aid, 50:50 Management Agency, Lyco, Tovwirane, Governance Gender Justice Development and IM Swedish Development Partner.

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