LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-The Parliamentary Women’s Caucus this week hosted a dinner with members of the diplomatic community, Civil Society Organization (CSOs), international and local development partners, to sensitize them on the retention of women parliamentarians in the forthcoming 2019 tripartite elections.
The event was hosted at the British High Commissioner’s resident in the capital Lilongwe.
The group has initiated a program that aims at retaining the 32 female legislators in the elections hence and held the function to seek support from the general public through resources mobilization.
There is growing fear among the female lawmakers that most of them might not make it due to unfavorable political atmosphere, following the fall of the former President Joyce Banda in 2014.
There is the general Misconception that women cannot be trusted in leadership positions; this is despite some women having made great strides in various government and private agencies of the country’s development.
In an interview with The Maravi Post, the Women’s Caucus Chairperson Jessie Kabwira, emphasized the need for the public to invest in women leadership.
Kabwira, who is also the chairperson for Southern Africa Development Community (SADC)’s Parliamentary Women Caucus, challenged the country’s citizens to channel their resources in uplifting women in key position if the nation is to make great development strides.
The Salima North-West constituency lawmaker, quickly said the retention support program must be based on individual’s ability with the development agenda in the members’ constituencies.
She said she was proud of the committee’s outstanding achievements made in Parliament due to passing of several women and children related laws including the Marriage, Divorce and Relations Act. In this Act, child, early and forced marriage was outlawed, and marriage age raised to the internationally accepted age of 18 years for girls and boys.
Kabwira disputed claims that women are failures and not trusted with power; she said when the nation that embraces women leadership, that country develops beyond imagination.
“Whatever the former President Joyce Banda did to the nation, does not real reflect women’s ability. This is the committee that has been making headlines beyond the nation with its outstanding efforts to pass laws that matter most to women and the girl child. We have now laws that suit their interests including Land Act, Marriage Act….
“It’s a committee whose members must retain their seats in 2019 elections as it has proven to be effective. Let donors, business captains and CSOs invest in these women on leadership for the continuation of the strides made. This is the reason we are seeking support for smooth of their operations in various constituencies,” appeals Kabwira.
Sharing the same sentiments, Clara Anyangwe, UN Women Malawi representative said it was high time Malawi could embrace women leadership in key position in emulating what other developed nations have achieved.
Anyangwe observed that women leadership has proven to be effective in other nations whereby men support their work for social-economic growth. Mia has been secretly meeting the MCP leadership, where money and materials have been exchanged. The aim of this is to formalize the business tycoon’s stake, and was done without consulting or informing Party members.