Members of Parliament (MPs) and Ward Councillors for Machinga district have signed an agreement with Machinga Women Forum (MAWOF) to address issues affecting women in the district.
The Parliamentarians and Councillors signed the pact during a meeting with the forum facilitated by the Pan African Civic Educators Network (PACENET) with funding from USAID which followed up on the politicians’ promises during electoral campaign period.
Women in the district through their forum identified some key issues which affect their daily life and the issues were presented to all aspiring candidates during the campaign period.
The issues include poor women’s welfare with the district recording more cases of rape and defilement; high cases of property grabbing and women not being economically empowered.
MAWOF complained of high rate of corruption among law enforcers and judicial officers in handling cases of gender based violence.
It was noted that the education standards are poor with no school feeding program in the district, poor implementation of adult literacy program with many girls performing poorly in school.
MAWOF Chairperson Beatrice Chisuse said: “Poor family methods have also impacted heavily on women, and there is a shortage of martenity wings which has resulted in increase in martanal deaths.”
On poor governance the Chisuse complained of gender in balance on developmental activities as most women are being sidelines in decision making and that there is poor collaboration between council and local governance structures.
“Women lack skills in agriculture and we need to be empowered on agribusiness. We also urge leaders to act on cultural norms and values such as dressing code, early marriages among others,” added Chisuse.
Anthony Kasunda PACENET board chairperson said the pact would help elected leaders to hold on to their promises on how they can address the issues women raised in the district.
Deputy chair for the Machinga Council, Rosereen Amin assured the forum that their issues will soon be addressed.
District commissioner for Machinga, Reinghard Chavula commended USAID through PACENET for working hand in hand with the forum in identifying issues affecting women and ably finding solutions to such issues.
Some of the Parliamentarians who signed the pact include Alfred Ndomondo, Ernest Yahaya, Esther Jolobala and Grant Ndecha.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :