Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, Patricia Kaliati, has justified the bloated Malawi delegation to the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in United Nations General Assembly in New York specifically on gender equality and women empowerment.
Kaliati was joined at the news conference by the Chairperson of NGO Gender Coordinating Network Mrs Emma Kaliya on Saturday to react to Nyasa Times story which revealed names of 48 people going for the 60th meeting of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW) to take place at the UN’s headquarters from 14 to 24 March.
However, Kaliati said there was no problem sending the number of delegates to New York because the money for the trip is not from Malawi Government coffers.
“These are sponsored trips why reporting on this instead of reporting on the need stop producing babies,” said Kaliati.
“When people come looking for visas to go to America, we can’t stop them. Some of them they just get the visas thinking they will get the funding,” she said.
“Some participants begin the visa process in the hope that they will get sponsorship for per diem, if that fails then they do not travel; otherwise, how will they survive out there? This time around we have people from agriculture, justice and nutrition just to mention a few,” she said
Kaliati blamed Nyasa Times for focusing on the number of delegation and the names aking the trip.
“Every year, representatives of Member States gather at United Nations Headquarters in New York to evaluate the progress on gender equality, identify challenges, set global standards and formulate concrete policies to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment worldwide. CSW attracts Ministers; high-level officials; and members of the civil society organisation to its annual sessions so this is quite an important conference for Malawi as a Country,” said Kaliati.
Kaliati said the commission’s mandate is to promote gender equality, development and peace as well as monitoring the implementation for the advancement of women so you the media do you want “Malawi as a country to miss such platform,”
The Minister said her ministry works in collaboration with the UN family, development partners, and other stakeholders to ensure that Malawi is represented at the CSW meetings, the UN General Assembly and other UN and International Conferences.
“It is at these conferences that my ministry mobilises resources for its outreach programmes. At the CSW Malawi presents its successes, challenges and advocates for resource mobilisation,” said Kaliati.
Kaliati said in 2014-2015 UN Conferences, Malawi mobilised 300 million US Dollars for Global Fund for HIV and AIDS.
“10 million Euro to support the Social Cash Transfer programme; 10-million US Dollars for girls’ education project, 2 million US Dollars for elderly and disability support,” said Kaliati.
Kaliya said he has never signed any money from government for her trips to the foreign duties.
Meanwhile, Malawi Congress Party (MCP) spokeswoam Jessie Kabwila has said she has been left out of the UN Commission on the Status of Women meeting to because of her recent arrest and charges levelled against her.
“I was supposed to be part of the panel of Women’s Hour at the BBC, but the treason charges have delayed my application process and further complicated my visa application,” she said
But Kaliati has dismissed allegations, saying the women caucus has a roaster, which it follows and it was simply not Kabwila’s turn this time around.
“I don’t think it has anything to do with those charges. What I know is that, there’s a roaster which is being followed as there are some women who have never travelled,” said Kaliati.
The delegation which will be led by Minister of Gender and children Patricia Kaliati,will include; Principal Secretary in her Ministry, Dr Mary Shawa, Esmie Kasinga, Chief Director of Social Support Services and Peter Nsefula director of Gender Affairs.
Others in the delegation include: Peter Elesan, Annie Makuta, Alice Mkandawire, Fred Simwaka , Lucy Bondazi, Dina Gumulira, Mtisunge Khembo, Thoko Banda, Chimwemwe Banda, Chimwemwe Chipungu, Felix Pensulo and Pacharo Kayira.
Also in the delegation are; Robert Msuku, Mary Maulidi Khembo, Annie Mapulanga, Frieda Kayuni, Anderson Chikomola, Charles Thombozi, Shupikile Manyera, Fanny Mateyu, Kelvin Tchali.
Bob Maonga, Loveness Dazimata, Mary Chinthuli, Cecilia Chazama MP and Agness Chimbiri.
Other include: Andrew Nkhoma, Makonokaya, Senior Chief Kachindamoto, Georgina Joji a student from Luanar, Hellen Chimkwita and Gugile Banda.
The delegation has members of civil society organisation who are: Abgail Dzimazi, Emma Kaliya, Hendrina Givah, Chrispine Sibande, Wesley Chabwera, Nelly Ngwaluko, Bernadetta Chiwaya, Jean Jessie Chamveka, Loma Mtema, Victor Maulidi, Mercy Mankhambera and Chimwemwe Nkosi.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :