Inkosi Champiti of Ntcheu has admitted that the district has failed to fight for equal representation of men and women in leadership positions.
The chief said this in Ntcheu on Tuesday during an advocacy meeting with local governance structures which NGO Gender Coordination Network (NGO-GCN) organised through Gender Support Network (GSP).
Ntcheu has no female legislator or ward councillor. All its seven members of Parliament (MPs) and 14 councillors are male.
“We have failed in gender balance because males have dominated key positions. I do not think this is about culture, but that people have not been sensitised to the importance of women in leadership positions,” said Champiti.
He, however, was pleased with the coming of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that sensitise people to the importance of women empowerment.
Malawi Congress Party (MCP) Ntcheu district chairperson Olivia Gausi said the party has already started encouraging women to contest as MPs and councillors.
Her counterpart in the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), Lincy Chafera, said they are ready to assist women to contest in leadership positions.
She advised them to understand that contesting in elections is a right and no one should threaten or discourage them
GSP programme officer Antony Mkupatira said his organisation is committed to creating awareness on the need to include women in local governance leadership positions such as Area Development Committees.
The meeting was part of the two-year civil society policy leadership and strengthening gender equality and women’s rights programme funded by the Royal Norwegian Embassy. n