Lack of Malawi women’s political participation worry donors

Open Society Foundation,  through Hivos Southern Africa Hub, has  expressed concern over lack of women’s political involvement in the country as the journey to 2019 general elections begins.

In an interview, the organisations project manager Ellen Hagerman faulted African culture saying men are more superior to women, a thing that is letting down women in political involvement.

Hagerman stressed the need for political parties and Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs) in the country to build capacity in women thereby promoting women in the political industry.

The concern was raised in Mchinji when HIVOS visited Community Initiative for Social Empowerment (CISE), a visit aimed at appreciating what the organization is doing in reducing pregnancies and early marriages in the district.

“Sometimes women are not economically empowered as they lack resources for them to conduct campaign rallies to sell their manifestoes. Women have power to govern not just clapping hands and having dances in political rallies, and national celebrations,” she said.

Meanwhile community initiative for social empowerment Executive Director, Andrew Mwanza says though the country is making progress in closing the political gender gap that exists in political participation.

He said this is the case since women are vital in Malawi’s agricultural economy and that some women, particularly those living in rural areas, simply do not have the time to commit to a political campaign or the financial means to travel and gain political support.

“Though Malawi is making progress in closing the political gender gap, there still exist numerous challenges in women’s political participation,” Mwanza pointed out.

CISE is among the accredited list of organisations that Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) recently released to conduct Civic and Voter Education for the 2019 Tripartite Election

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