Youth vital in women empowerment- Osman

Youth Association for Democracy (YADEMA) director of gender justice, Habiba Osman, sayd the campaign to empower women can easily be achieved if the youth are enganged.

Osman said this, when was speaking in a public discussion titled “the role of the youth in  promoting women’s rights” held in American embassy auditorium in Old Mutual building at city center Lilongwe, which was also aired live on Zodiak and Transworld radio.

This discussion was organized amid the world’s commemoration of women’s day which falls on 8 March.

Habiba Osman

Osman , who was one of the panelists during the discussion alongside Dr Augustin Magolowondo and Jessie Kabwila Kapasula, said that it is very essential to engage the youth in the promotion of women’s rights because they are the future leaders.

“It is important that we should have the youth in this kind of initiatives because they are the future leaders, because they will have a better understanding that women are also equal just as men, and are not man’s helper,” she said

“if we can instill the youth with this kind of information now that means they will have a good perception in as far as women are concerned, they will not see an empowered woman as a threat to them, because they will be at a better position to understand,” Osman, a lawyer, added.

Osman also acknowledged that a need of government’s support in a bid to achieve this campaign.

“It’s very important that government should also take a leading role in this campaign by empowering more women, so that we can change the general perception in our society. The cultural perception as well as bibirical is against us, so we need to improve it,”said Osman

In his remark Magolowondo, concurred with Osman by adding that youth have the ability to disseminate this information among them quickly.

“We should remember that we are leaving in the information age, and most of the people who easily access this information are the youth, and they also have that ability to disseminate it quickly and that should also account for the fact that these youth are in majority,” he said

However, the discussion turned into a blame game as most of the messages which were being sent by the radio audience, blamed women that are the ones who provoke the abuses.

But in her remarks Dr Jessie Kabwila Kapasula quashed the claims by saying that, this was blaming a victim.

“That’s where the problem is coming, instead of men helping the victimized person they are finding scapegoats, claiming we (women) timakhomelelana (we pull each other down) ut does doesn’t this exists amongst men?.When men have done it you are always quite. But when its women you try to make a big meal out of it.”

Amongst the guests for the public discussion, was YADEMAs president Wapona Kita, Malawi institute of Journalism (MIJ) and Witwatersrand collage students.

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