By Thabi Kamwangala:
Global Women’s Leadership Network- Malawi Sister Society (MWLNMS) has bemoaned poor representation of women in top positions in local Savings and Credit Cooperatives (Saccos).
MWLNMS outgoing chairperson Triza Magreta said this at this year’s conference, which was held on Friday in Salima District.
“As at now, only 33 percent of women hold positions such as that of chief executive officer (CEO) in Saccos in Malawi, with only 39 percent being represented as board members. These rates are very concerning,” she said.
Malawi Union of Savings and Credit Cooperatives CEO Fumbani Nyangulu concurred with Magreta, saying there was a need to address challenges that are contributing to the marginalisation of women in credit cooperatives.
“The statistics are quite concerning.
“However, they [statistics] can be improved and, in order to do so, we need to realise that, as we empower our nation, one also needs to take the steps to ask themselves the question: ‘What I’m I doing to build myself’?” Nyangulu said.
In her address, keynote speaker Justice Violet Palikena Chipao urged women to be visionary.
“Until you have a vision, you cannot progress in life. You need to set goals and have a plan. Other than this, you need to take action to pursue that vision. Leading is not just about positions; it is also about influencing and leaving a mark wherever you are,” she said.
During the conference, members elected a new national executive committee, with Rose Nyambi being elected as Chairperson, deputised by Elsie Mwimba. The new Treasurer is Mphatso Msyali, with Catherine Kachonde serving as Secretary and Elita Mtambo serving as Vice-Secretary.
The grouping is an arm of World Council of Credit Unions and includes females working with Saccos in the country. The main purpose is to provide a platform for learning from one another and the theme for this year’s conference was ‘Build Yourself, Build a Better Nation’.