Women inclusion stakeholders ponder campaign reforms

Stakeholders in the drive towards women inclusion and increased participation in politics have pledged to reform their interventions on gender equality to promote women’s participation in national politics.

Representatives from government, the 50:50 Campaign Management Agency, ActionAid, Centre for Multiparty Democracy (CMD) and political parties yesterday met at Sunbird Mount Soche in Blantyre to find ways of promoting women inclusion in Malawi following a sub-par performance in the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections.

Chavula: We need to find out what they need

According to results released by the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC), only 44 of 305 female politicians who contested for parliamentary seats won, representing 14.4 percent.

Addressing delegates at the meeting, Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare director of gender Mercy Safalaoh called the meeting to reflect on approaches to support young women in politics.

She said: “This is possible when all key players such as political parties, religious leaders and civil society organisations are unified on this issue.”

On his part, 50:50 Campaign Management Agency team leader Viwemi Chavula said civil society organisations should strive to understand the social and political environment that female aspirants operate in and the challenges therein.

He said: “We need to find out what prospective politicians need and how to integrate that in future interventions for women inclusion.”

CMD chairperson Ibrahim Matola urged stakeholders in women inclusion to base their interventions on solid and verifiable evidence.

He said: “It will help provide real solutions to the challenges female political aspirants face on the ground.”

In her remarks, Association for Women in Media president Edyth Kambalame called for meaningful engagement of the media in the campaign, saying the media is an important player in the dissemination of such key messages.

“The 50:50 campaign is about changing people’s mindsets to see the merit in having more women in politics. The media plays a critical role in informing the public on such issues,” she said.

The meeting was organised by the 50:50 Campaign Management Agency in conjunction with the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (Osisa) and the Ministry of Gender, Children Disability and Social Welfare.

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