All set for women protests against pants stripping

Organisers of the Friday, January 20, protests say all is set for women of Malawi to converge for constructive engagement on the protection of women and the defense of their rights through a peaceful sit in.

A group of independent Malawian women and some members of the civil society are mobilizing Malawians, women and men, to a peaceful sit in at the HHI Multipurpose Hall in Blantyre.

One of the independent organisers, Taweni Gondwe, said after securing a permission letter from the Chief Executive Officer of Blantyre City Council Ted Nandolo “all is now set, Viva Mother Malawi Viva!!!”

Women: Have freedom to dress what they want

“All is set. We are mobilising women and men in solidarity with the victims and to express our indignation at such barbaric treatment of mothers, wives and daughters in our country,” said Gondwe.

Gondwe also wrote on her Facebook wall: “It is important that we speak now to condemn these disturbing developments and hopefully influence the suspension of any further similar attacks. We, as women, cannot live in anxiety or in fear of fellow citizens in Malawi when we (women) are not breaking any of the laws of the land.”

According to their programme, the peaceful protests will start from 09.00am to 12noon.

The organisers are also asking all participants to wear their fancy designer trousers, miniskirts and leggings with white tops to symbolise peace.

Speakers

A number of speakers have been lined up and they include Dr Ngeyi Kanyongolo who will give a talk on the Constitution and what provisions it contains for equal participation of women in public life as well as the advancement of women’s personal freedoms in Malawi

Seodi White of WILSA Malawi will talk on the empowerment and emancipation of women and girl children as a critical agenda for both men and women in Malawi while Dr Jessie Kabwila Kapasula will share with the audience the importance of women using their voice in defence of democracy and the rule of law.

According to Taweni, interdenominational pastors will also speak on the inherent value of human beings and the women in particular.

“We, Malawian women, are key players in the establishment and entrenchment of democracy, promoters of peace and stability, drivers of change in pursuit of modernisation of our economy and society, as well as contributors to economic activity in our nation,” she wrote.

The organisers have since asked all employers to passionately take up the cause of women, who comprise a large proportion of the Malawi workforce, by allowing them to participate in the watershed event.

“When our personal security and personal dignity are compromised through the misguided actions of some reckless and inhumane individuals, it is incumbent upon us as the victims to speak up for ourselves and seek the support of the public as well as the relevant organs of state to restore our sense of safety as well as personal dignity,” says Taweni.

The organisers are also calling upon other Malawians across the country to organise similar protests.

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