Mary Chilima, wife to Republican Vice President Saulos Klaus Chilima on Monday interacted with female members of staff and students of Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST) in Thyolo as part of them commemoration of the International Women’s Day.
Every year, around the world, March 8 is marked as International Women’s Day. It’s a time to recognise female trailblazers, to agitate for political change, to connect with women’s history and to take action for gender equality.
Mrs Chilima told both the female staff and students to be focused on their goals and seek necessary professional, academic and other support when they face challenges.
She made a presentation to the two groups both as a role model and Plan Malawi’s ambassador against online harassment against girls and young women.
“Let me start by congratulating you all for being at MUST.
” It means you have surmounted so many challenges to be hear both as female staff members and students. Studies show that over 50 percent of girls get married by age 18 and once that happens, their futures are doomed,” she said.
She advised the female students that at this stage they are treated as adults as such, any decision they make has potential to make or break their future, hence the need to be careful.
“Choose friends wisely because they too can break or make you. Focus on studies or your profession. Of course you need to balance your academic or professional life with social activities. Remember why you are here and focus on that,” she advised.
Madam Chilima also talked about gender based violence (GBV), advising female students to guard against each other and report any such incidents to authorities.
“Apart from pursuing criminal charges against the perpetrators, you as an individual also needs counselling and that can only happen if you come out.
“Do not allow any boy to cheat you into marriage talks. This is time for education and time for marriage will come.
“It is disheartening to note that some girls in university go into relationships where they become almost wives to their boyfriends. They stay in his room, cook for him, and wash his clothes. For what? Please value yourself and because that can affect your academic performance,” she said, adding that girls should not be allowed to share their nudes with boyfriends.
“Once you break up, he will post those nudes on social media and you will be psychologically affected. In fact, we have seen girls committing suicide because of such issues. And as students, this can affect your studies.”
She advised ladies to find ways of supplementing their income through businesses, saying despite being married to a Vice President, she still runs her businesses.
Earlier, MUST Vice Chancellor, Professor Address Malata, thanked Madam Chilima for accepting to visit MUST and address the female staff and students.
Madam Chilima was accompanied, among others, by her mum, Madam Kamoto, whom she described as her source of inspiration and attributed her success to her guidance when she was young.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :