Women urged to participate more in elected positions
Government, Gender, Justice and Development Centre (GGJDC) Executive Director Ruth Manda recently urged women in Mchinji to participate in political elected positions to ensure that important decisions that directly affect them are addressed.
Manda made the call when she addressed a district executive committee meeting on Women Empowered for Leadership (WE4L) programme in the district.
“Women in Malawi represent 52 percent of the total population and yet continue to be underrepresented at different levels within our society, even at sub-national level where important decisions are made that directly affect the quality of citizens, including women,” she said.
Manda bemoaned the lack of representation of women at Mchinji council, observing that all 12 councilors in the district were men. That meant that women issues were not represented, she said.
“GGJDC like any other stakeholder is called upon to assess the underlying factors that might have contributed to the status quo and re-strategise for gender equality to be realised,” Manda said.
She said the centre embarked on WE4L programme which is in its inception. The programme’s thematic areas and components include increased political participation for women, public administration, increased women leaders and established women civil society organisations (CSOs) among others.
Manda said the centre decided to embark on the programme in readiness for the 2019 general elections.
She said most women preferred to play background roles such as supporting or dancing for men instead of being involved in leadership positions.
“The WE4L programme will undertake a stakeholder analysis to establish who is working where and how such efforts can be collaborated to ensure women empowerment which should be translated into active participation of women in politics and public administration,” Manda said.
To achieve equality, the organisation will, among other things, engage all political parties represented in Parliament: Democratic Progressive Party, Malawi Congress Party, United Democratic Front, Alliance for Democracy and People’s Party.
Mchinji District Commissioner Rosemary Nawasha applauded GGJDC for the programme but called on the centre and other organisations working in the district to be transparent and accountable to the council and to people they serve.
“Most CSOs advise the government and councils to be transparent when some organisations do not even report to the council on the successes of their programmes,” Nawasha said.
She called on organisations to work closely with the council secretariat to ensure the programme benefited the intended people.
Hivos of the Netherlands is funding the programme which is being implemented in Nkhotakota, Kasungu, Mchinji and Lilongwe in the Central Region and will cover all traditional authorities.
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