By Viciah Nason-MEC Stringer

As one way of ensuring that women in the country are fully participating in their political parties, some men in authorities have been urged to pave away for women aspirants without asking sexual favours.

Pan African civic Educators Network PACENET made the call during the orientation meeting organized for Community Based Organizations CBOs in Dedza district with the aim of strengthening women’s political empowerment throughout electoral cycle.

Assistant project coordinator Pearson Malinda said clinging to cultural beliefs is the major factor that is contributing to women’s failure in active politics.

“There are some men holding high positions in different parties who are still victimizing our female aspirants. As PACENET our main goal is to build capacity for the women who has shown interest in next year’s elections and that is why we are working together with CBOs on how we can empower them,” said Malinda.

He then urged the CBOs  to sensitise their communities on the importance of voting for female candidates, advising people to change their mindset on how they look at women hence Malawi’s culture under late females and regards men as the only leaders.

PACENET media and communications officer Patricia Njatula said they thought it wise to engage the CBOs in order to reach the grassroots hence their goal is to disseminate the messages to the communities.

Njatula said their project is clearly asking communities to favour women and guide them in order to achieve 50:50 goals in next year’s elections.

” We are not campaigning for every aspirant but for those who are electoral materials, as CBOs you are aware of those who can make it in your respective areas, our plea is that you should help them to be focused and maintain their self confidence.

‘It is a worrisome development to learn that Dedza district has one female MP out of eight and two female councillors out of sixteen, we need a big change in 2019 as we believe that women are also rational beings who can change their societies,” said Njatula.

Commenting on why women are not active in positions, Patricia Manga of Traditional Authority Chauma CBO  attributed that men in authorities are greedy because when a woman shows interest to contest they eventually ask money from her or else demand her to bow down for their wishes.

She then commended PACENET for organising a meeting saying they have been imparted with knowledge that will help them to transform people’s mindset and they will encourage parties to allow more women to undergo primarily elections hence some districts vote for party not an individual.

PACENET is implementing this project called Enhancing Women Participation in Politics in Democratic Governance in six districts of Dedza, Salima,Mangochi, Mulanje ,Mzimba and Karonga.