Malawi Pres. Banda snubs critics: ‘Women blamed since biblical time’

Malawi President Joyce Banda has urged women in Malawi to be resilient and keep on praying, saying women have always been blamed and criticized since biblical time.

The President’s statement came at a time when she is being blamed for exacerbating the country’s economic malaise, medical drug crisis in public hospitals and a general maize shortage among others.

The President was attending this year’s Women’s World Day of Prayer held at St Andrew CCAP Church in Mzuzu where she was guest of honor.

Black out

Malawi Broadcasting Corporation TV and Radio One went off  air simultaneously during the live coverage of this year’s Women’s World Day of Prayer held at St Andrew CCAP Church in Mzuzu where Malawi President Banda was guest of honor.

President Banda and First Gentleman attending prayers

President Banda and First Gentleman attending prayers.-Photo by Sarah Munthali/Mana

Both stations stopped transmission at 2.28pm before the president spoke and MBC staff was seen in frantic efforts making calls shouting at each other in an effort to detect the problem.

TV screens tuned to MBC channel had a notice “No or bad signal” while radios tuned to Radio one’s 97.8 had s screeching sound.

MBC was restored live transmission at 3.52pm.

Malawi women joined the rest of the world’s women in celebrating the day, which falls on the first Friday of every March every year, 50 years later in 1982.  So far 170 countries are part of the celebrations.

Women in France are leading this year’s prayers, while Malawi has never organized the prayers at world level, according to Women’s World Day of Prayer Vice Chair-person Mrs. Beatrice Chilindiro.

“But we have been managing to send at least one women to where the prayers are done in a particular year because we lack resources to send a larger delegation,” Chilindiro said.

President Banda then donated MK2 million to the organizing committee of the Women’s World Day of Prayer to carry out its charity works at Mzuzu prison and Central Hospital.

Women responsibilities

President Banda said the fact that God ensured that women endure pain through childbearing is a coping mechanism enabling them to face any challenge.

“God gave us intuition and a duty to suffer pain with dignity so that we can comfort those around us,” she said.

Going biblical specifically  referring to the  book of Genesis in the Holy Bible,  President  Banda said when Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, Adam blamed Eve.

“As women we should know that was the start of the problems. Even now if I do something, I always have critics and sometimes I wonder where it is coming from. What we should do that pray hard and not offer excuses because blame is part of our creation,” Banda said.

She then took about 40 minutes reminding women about their duties and responsibilities saying they should not fear their husbands but respect them.

“Don’t just be spectators, Kumatakata. Be a good partner, lover and friends to your husbands. The best gift a wife can give to her family is to show love to her husband,” Banda said.

Gender violence

She then attributed the ever increasing cases of gender violence in the country to unfair upbringing.

“Men become beasts because we treat boys as kings while girls never enjoy their childhood because of  heavy workloads. In fact we abuse girls,” the President said.

She said gender equality in Malawi will never be realized as long as parents do not bring up boys and girls as equals.

“Let’s protect our girl child. Let’s give them time to rest,” she said, adding that “I never enjoyed my childhood because my mother used to work but left me to care for my younger siblings,” Banda said.

The prayers held under the theme : ‘I was a stranger, you welcomed me’ and drew various women from various denominations in Malawi.

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