By Kondwani Magombo:
Religious leaders and chiefs in Mangochi District have pledged to support the 50:50 campaign ahead of the May 21 2019 would Tripartite Elections saying neither religious teachings nor cultural beliefs stop women from rising to high positions in politics.
The leaders made the commitment on Friday and Saturday during panel discussions organised by the 50:50 Campaign Management Agency to discuss whether religion or culture affect women participation in politics.
Chairperson for Muslim Association of Malawi for the district, Sheikh Fahd Kamsuli, on Friday said people had misunderstood Islamic teachings on women’s roles.
“Islam does not prohibit women from participating in politics or from taking leading roles in the society; what the faith does not allow women to do is to stand before men and lead in prayers,” Kansuli said.
He said women were free to participate in any activities in the society, including politics.
One of the traditional leaders in the district, Sultan Chowe, said culture should not be a barrier to women’s participation in active roles in the society.
Chowe said it was high time society began to regard women as capable beings who could rise to any position and perform just like their male counterparts, or even better.
“We have a lot of examples of women who have proved to the world that they can lead. My appeal to our women in Mangochi is that we should not allow our girls to rush into marriage at the expense of their education. Until our girls are educated enough to pluck the courage to compete with their male counterparts, this campaign would be a failure.”
There is only one female councillor out of 34 the district and town councils have.
Panelists included the civil society and political organisation representatives.
The campaign in Mangochi is being funded by the Icelandic Government through the Icelandic International Development Agency to the tune of K37 million. – Mana
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