MUST International Women’s Day celebration inspires young girls to dream big

This year’s Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST) International Women’s Day celebration has positively impacted female students from surrounding secondary schools.

Themed DIGITALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality and hash-tagged Embrace Equity, the

International Women’s Day falls on March 8, but MUST commemorated a day after at the institution’s Library Auditorium.

Speaking at the event, a Form 1 student from Matapwata Secondary School, Katerina Chifuwa, said the event has changed her life and expressed gratitude for the opportunity to partake in the event.

MUST women employees with secondary school students

“This event has given me momentum to work hard in my education. I have been inspired by the speeches made by the women, it was just like they were speaking directly to me. I aspire to be a Pilot which is a male dominated field and at times my determination was being pulled back by society.

“I am happy to have met women who went far with their education despite facing challenges and are now holding big positions. I am so determined because I have been assured I can be everything that I want to be, all I need to do is to work hard towards achieving my dream,” Chifuwa.

MUST is a tertiary institution where women are underrepresented, with some classes consisting of a single female. In an interview, MUST Lecturer, Tiwonge Mzumara, said the event was a success.

“We organised this function to expose women who are doing well in society to our female students and those from surrounding secondary schools. It is the reason we have invited female employees from Illovo to share their personal experiences.

“We intend to inspire the female students by letting them know different careers and hear what other women have achieved. It is important for us women to celebrate, carry each other and ensure we have equal spaces,” Mzumara.

This year’s International Women’s Day celebration Guest of Honour at MUST was the Human Resources Head at Illovo Sugar Malawi, Khumbo Mtambo-Banda.

Mtambo-Banda said women need to focus their energy on enhancing their abilities and supporting each other rather than pulling each other down.

“I am standing here as Human Resources Head of such a big organisation because a woman is part of this success story. We need to understand that the more we support each other the better it is but the more we pull each other down the backward we go as women. I always encourage women to be more confident in themselves in order to reach their full potential and bring out the best in them. As they navigate the world especially in science and technology that is fully dominated by men they should know that skill sets of confidence help portray and showcase competence,” she said.

In Malawi, women constitute 50.68% of the total population of 19,129,952 million people.

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