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MHRRC for 50:50 Gender Representation

Msiska- as men let's respect the gender equality act Msiska- as men let's respect the gender equality act - pic by Steve Kalungwe

In a bid to ensure equal representation of men and women in leadership positions, the Malawi Human Rights Resource Centre (MHRRC) through the Association of Progressive Women (APW) with funding from HIVOS has asked chiefs in Neno district to champion Gender Equality Act so that women are given a voice in decision making processes.

APW Executive Director, Noel Msiska, said chiefs should influence their subjects in identifying positions of influence in a drive to ensure inclusiveness.

“As chiefs, they have a role to play. For example, they can influence Area and Village Development Committees to choose women as its leaders in a bid to make sure that women are taking leading roles," Msiska said.

A representative from Neno district council, Brighton Mphinga, acknowledged a gap in leadership positions even at council level, saying Neno district council would have loved to see more women at its council Secretariat.

Mphinga said; "for the past ten years, Neno has not produced a woman councilor which is a worry to us. We need them even as council chairs. It’s sad to sideline them."

In his remarks, Traditional Authority Mlauli of Neno district said his subjects will be convinced on why they should entrust women with leadership positions, saying women know better the areas to focus on in terms of development.

Mlauli further say in his area, he noted that most organizations being run by women are most successful than those manned by men; hence a need for women empowerment if societies are to progress economically.

Director of Neno Women's Forum, Lucy Howa, observed that lack of self-esteem among women is contributing to their misrepresentation in decision making platforms.

"As women, we need to jack up and face reality. we have potential, otherwise we will remain marginalized although money is a challenge for most of us to attain political positions", Howa laments.

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