Scotland, Malawi to train prospective women Councilors

The Malawi government in partnership with the Scottish government has embarked on a programme to build capacity of 2000 prospective women councilors countrywide as part of Malawi’s efforts to close the gender imbalance in political and decision making positions.

In Malawi, the Ministry of Gender is championing the project in collaboration with targeted accredited NGOs.

Mzuzu based Mbawemi Women’s group will work with the ministry in Rumphi and Mzuzu in identifying 100 interested women wishing to stand as councilors in the 2014 tripartite elections.

Mbaweni Executive Director Mercy Timba urged Political parties to identify interested women saying they expect support from parties for the project to be successful.

“Malawi belongs to all of us regardless of political affiliation,” Timba said.

Timba

Timba

Mzuzu District Alliance for Democracy Chairperson Godfrey Mwanza said political parties were ready to work with Mbawemi and the Ministry of Gender in empowering women.

“As political parties we have one agenda which is to bring and spearhead development for our people hence our acceptance of the project,” Mwanza said.

The NGOs Project Manager Francisco Nkhoma said it is high time Malawi attain the 50:50 target gender target saying it is high time political parties made deliberate efforts to give women a fair share in political and decision-making positions.

Nkhoma said after training his organization would then link the women to various donors for support when official campaign starts.

Ministry of Gender representative Andrew Chima reiterated without giving figures that Malawi is lagging behind in achieving gender targets.

Chima said the major aim of the project is to empower women with confidence and skills so that they will be able to face their male counterparts when they hit the campaign trail.

“Apart good communication skills, the major qualification for women to be enrolled in the project is if they show willingness to stand as councilors,” he said.

Mzuzu City Director of Administration Victor Masina commended political parties for welcoming the project saying the project will only succeed if political parties were on the forefront.

“It is our hope that political parties will field more women councilors,” he said.—MEC Stringer

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