Female candidates in Karonga District have been challenged to articulate and practise issue based politics throughout the campaign period if they are to win the confidence of the electorate ahead of the May 21, 2019 Tripartite Elections.
Foundation for Community Support Services (FOCUS) trained the female aspirants with skills that would enhance their chances of winning the forth coming general elections through successful campaign, public speaking and dealing with cultural values.
Speaking to the press soon after the training, FOCUS’ 50:50 campaign project officer, Robert Silungwe said the training was planned with an objective of grilling the female candidates to instill confidence and skills that would enable them go to campaign against men, who most of the times are advantaged in terms of public speaking skills.
“We noted gaps that some of our female candidates were disadvantaged in terms of public speaking, policy articulations and their failure to report to us some of the political violence they face.
“So in a nutshell we decided to impart some skills so that they have a successful campaign,” he said.
Silungwe, however, asked political parties to do more to help various stakeholders who are campaigning for equal representation at both Local Government and Parliament level, saying these elections are a litmus test to the country’s democracy and the whole 50:50 campaign because previous elections have failed to achieve this feat.
“I would like to plead with voters, traditional leaders and political parties to specifically support female candidates so that we do not put our democracy at crossroads.
“It is high time that Malawi as a country produced high numbers of female representatives in both the National Assembly and at Local Government level,” Silungwe said.
Speaking on behalf of all female candidates, Peoples Party (PP) aspirant for Songwe Ward, Moshi Fundi applauded FOCUS for the timely training, saying it will go a long way in their interaction with the electorate.
The 50:50 Management Agency through Action Aid and with funding from the Royal Norwegian Embassy is facilitating the project in Karonga K16 million and will benefit 23 female aspirants in the district.