YAS, PASNET to empower 120 aspiring women in innovation driven campaigns

As the road to 2019 General Elections grows nearer Youth and Society (YAS) in collaboration with PAN African Civil Educators Network (PASNET) have set the ball rolling by disclosing plans to enhance 120 aspiring women candidates to conduct competitive, development driven and innovative campaign.

Women candidates have support.

The exercise which will be conducted in 6 targeted districts across the country including Karonga district that is part of YAS and PASNETs enhancing women participation in democratic governance in Malawi project that has been rolled out in the aforementioned districts.

The project in Karonga comes amid concerns over a lack of women participation in political leadership where the district has only one female ward councilor out of the 10 ward councilors and no female member of Parliament out of the five members of Parliament.

Speaking during a stakeholders meeting on Friday YAS assistant programme manager Silvester Kapondera, said the aim of the project is to increase women representation in the parliament and female ward councilors in local government councilors in the forthcoming election.

He said due to social, cultural norms women are being discouraged to take part in active politics hence their dwindling numbers of representation of ward councilors in local governments and female MPs in the August house.

“Among our objective with the project is to increase community and citizenry understanding of gender equality, political governance and women’s rights to political participation ,” he said.

Kapondera added, through various interventions that the project has lined up attitudes and perceptions of women that has been fueled due to cultural beliefs can begin to change for the better for female aspiring candidates.

“In our culture it is generally accepted for men to come home around 11pm when they are conducting political campaigns but when women do the same there is an uproar from their husbands demanding answers of where they had been hence we need a different mindset towards women in political leadership,” he explained.

Ward Councillor for Malawi ward Joyce Nyondo, the only female councilor in the district, has welcomed the project in the district. Saying the project has come at the right time considering we are 11 months away from general elections.

Senior chief Mwilang’ombe has applauded YAS and PASNET for involving traditional leaders and chiefs in empowering women participation in Democratic governance.

He said he was confident through the project  that a number of female aspiring candidates will come forward to participate in the general elections.

Disclosing that an unnamed female aspirant has already come to him as a traditional chief to express her willingness to contest as a member of Parliament for karonga nyungwe constituency.

Enhancing women participation in Democratic governance has been all out in six districts including karonga, mzimba, Salima, mulanje among others with financial assistance from UN women to the tune of $100,000 US dollars.

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