Young women want space in politics

Young women in Mzimba and Rumphi districts have expressed concern over few women participants in politics.

Participating in Young Women in Politics (Ywap) project through Young Women Active Groups (Ywag), the women were motivated by Machinga South East legislator Fyness Magonjwa to support and vote for fellow women in elections.

Mkalira: We want to participate in politics

Phoka Ywag chairperson Aureen Mkalira said young women in Rumphi face numerous challenges in their quest to join active politics.

“When you want to compete for a political position, you hear someone in the ranks saying you need to sleep with them first or someone tells you that you are too young for that position,” she said.

However, group village head Ziyewo Msiska said the community made a number of reforms on gender and that more women were now incorporated into village development committee and area development committees.

Edingeni Ywag chairperson Margaret Jere said lack of acceptance by the old guard and allegations of sexual exploitation, among others, have been limiting factors for young women’s participation in politics in Mzimba.

“That female legislator in Machinga [Fyness] inspires us and it gives us confidence that we can do it as well,” she said.

Danish Church Aid Ywap project officer William Kholongo said he was excited with the enthusiasm in the young women. The Danish Church Aid is implementing a two-year Ywap project in partnership with Women Legal Resources Centre, Centre for Multiparty Democracy and Danish Institute for Parties and Democracy with funds from the European Union.

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