Malawi Widows Association urges members to invest in small and medium scale businesses

Malawi Widows Association (MAWIA) has urged its members to invest in small and medium enterprises for them to survive the social and economic difficulties that come with widowhood.

MAWIA Board Chairperson Andrina Mchiela made the remarks when she opened the association’s board meeting in Lilongwe on Saturday.

Mchiela observed that lack economic empowerment for widows is contributor for escalation of cases of gender based violence, sexual abuse and property grabbing.

Kusseni–MAWIA is complementing government efforts in alleviating suffering among widows and their children

“Widowhood is a vulnerable period both emotionally and financially. But this can be lessened if we, as widows, decide to invest our available resources in profitable social and economic activities,” she said.

Mchiela said it is against this background that MAWIA initiated Widows Savings and Loan Association (WISALA) project to address discrimination, stigma and marginalization that widows face in their communities.

Global Fund for Widows (GFW) is financing WISALA project to economically empower and improve the economic livelihoods of widows and their dependents.

The project was initiated following results of a study that showed that a majority of the widows live in abject poverty, are marginalized and are usually forced to give up their inherited property due to pressure from relatives of their departed husbands.

Widows posing for a photo with MAWIA Board Directors

Principal Gender Development Officer in the Ministry of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare, Chimwemwe Grace Kusseni, commended the association for initiating various projects aimed to uplift the welfare of widows in Malawi

Kusseni said such projects are complementing government efforts to alleviate the suffering among widows and their children.

MAWIA programme manager Abel Mwenibanda disclosed that 400 widows are benefiting from WISALA project.

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