Deputy Minister of Local Government, Halima Daud says the persisting gaps in gender equality and women’s empowerment are a barrier to the full achievement of development goals in the country.
She said this on Tuesday during official opening of a two-day training workshop for women councillors at Linde Motel in Dowa, emphasizing that leaving women behind — who make a population of over 50 percent — is unfair to the country’s development.
Daud said it is high time policies and programmes got funded by domestic resources to achieve sustained, inclusive and equitable economic growth and development.
“This workshop is responding to the findings of the rapid needs assessment survey which emphasizes on existing gaps on gender related laws and policies, resource mobilisation and use of information and communications technology (ICT) to mobilise support and influence change among others.
“The participation of women in politics ensures that the perspectives of women contribute to shaping policies, priorities, strategies, plans and budgets of government to enhance gender responsiveness,” she said.
She then said government is committed to support women councillors so that development goals are achieved.
“Gender equality is not only morally right — it is also an extremely powerful booster for development and growth.
“Councils must start to systematically plan, budget and implement all development programmes with gender lens,” she said.
The workshop has been organised by Malawi Local Government Association (MALGA) with funding from UN Women, Oxfam in Malawi and Gender and Justice Unit.