Women Mistakes Are More Highlighted - Tett
British high commissioner to Malawi, Holly Tett has challenged women parliamentarians in the country to be of high value if they want to play a role in democracy and governance.
Tett, who was speaking in Mangochi Saturday during the parliamentary women’s caucus retreat, said it is not in Malawi alone where women are finding it tough because the bar for them has been set very high than men so they need to be committed, tough and very wise.
“It’s not only in Malawi but across the world if a woman makes a mistake that is highlighted as an issue because it’s a woman rather than simply what humans do. If a man makes same mistake, that might not be brought out so much and similarly when women had great success might not be heard as much when a man had the same success,” said Tett.
She said what women need is absolute quality in parliament or out because they are already doing tremendous job to prove reality.
Tett also said women should consider issues of gender to make sure that life of girls and women are considered and make sure that they work as a block not counting on their affiliations.
But on her part on why most women are not much active in parliament than men, a thing some voters said is the reason they don’t vote for women, speaker of parliament Catherine Gotani Hara, while admitting the concerns might carry some truth, said there are a number of reasons beyond what people saw.
Gotani Hara said people look for many things as parliament had some good female MPs who were good in parliament but were voted out and some who don’t contribute to deliberations managed to come back.
She said that some women need time to familiarize themselves with the proceedings in the house as there is no formal school on the house and most of those who are very active are not doing the first term as even some men don’t talk in the chamber.
But Gotani also agreed that language barrier cannot be ruled out as a setback to some parliamentarians to contribute effectively.
Minister of Gender Children, Disability and Social Welfare, Mary Navicha, also agreed that most women are nervous to stand and contribute in the house and challenging the women to contribute meaningfully so that they should leave a legacy.
But Navicha also said the harsh environment for women in parliament contributes much, saying the booing that most women are subjected to when standing to contribute is not a very big setback and they are thinking of having deliberate policies so that no male MP should laugh at women parliamentarian in the chamber.
According to OXFAM Country Director, Lingalireni Mihowa, despite the challenges women are facing, they are registering a success in the cause of promoting women.