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Spanish envoy urges support for women

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Spanish Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Alicia Morals, who is also assigned to Malawi, has called on government and all stakeholders to support women in their socioeconomic endeavours.

Morals said all European countries have deliberate policies dedicated to gender issues aimed at making sure women have access to education, “not just getting married and have children while still young”.

The Spanish envoy was among European Union (EU) member states ambassadors residing in other African countries who toured some EU-supported projects in Salima.

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She said in her country, 50 years ago, women were not actively participating in public life to the point that they had to seek permission from their fathers or husbands to engage in different activities including signing contracts and buying houses.

“But then, government started applying the policy of promoting gender equality and now, we have reached a very good level even though we still have a lot of things to do,” said Morals.

She added that being a diplomat, she sees that the participation of women in everything including politics and big businesses can turn around Malawi’s economy “because the woman can make a difference in a country because they have a different approach to things”.

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Morals said there is also need for family planning so that women do not have a lot of children.

“Women with too many children find it very difficult to do anything else that can help the society and the country,” she said.

EU Head of Delegation to Malawi, Marchel Gerrmann—who led the group of EU non-resident ambassadors on the tour— said it was refreshing that women are taking part in different projects even though more needs to be done.

“At the Salima [National Initiative for Civic Education (Nice)] and Salima Technical College, we have seen that women and girls are taking part and this is commendable. At the technical college, I was positively surprised that so many girls are learning technical jobs,” Gerrmann said.

He, however, bemoaned the fact that the college has a lot of outdated equipment and pledged that as the EU supports technical and vocational training in the country, it will also wish to support the college.

Regarding Nice operations, the EU envoy has urged sustainability so that the institution is fully independent.

“As the EU, we still support Nice but it is important that the institution is truly independent. It is important that it is independent from the European Union, so it is important that they find ways of getting resources through other means,” he said.

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