This has been made possible with support from Balaka District Gender Office.
The campaign falls under the banner “Patsogolo ndi Amayi”. Speaking during the meeting, Projects Coordinator for GGJDC, Grace Makuti, stressed that community leaders should help to de-construct the social-cultural norms for increased women participation in the political arena.
“We need your support as leaders within Balaka for this campaign to succeed because there is no fairground as regards women participation in politics,” urged Makuti.
A number of issues were brought to light that there’s jealousy among women themselves. Senior Traditional Authority Toleza noted that the majority of voters being women do not support each other when it comes to ushering people into positions or public offices.
“We Malawians have a negative perception towards women when it comes to holding public offices. This is quite detrimental to development,” bemoaned STA Toleza.
A suggestion was brought forward that irrespective of gender, people should vote for a person on merit.
“Vote for a person who has vision and will initiate development in your area,” stated Henry Zakeria, District Education officer for National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE) in Balaka.
Hannah Nyirenda, who is the district’s Gender Officer, emphasized that the campaign is all about encouraging competition and leaving behind the stigma that one is male or female.
“Gender differences is not a plausible excuse, we are all capable of bringing about change and development.” She stated.
Some of the issues discussed centred on problems women face to contest in leadership positions and such problems ought to be dealt with.
Balaka is one of the districts that has a high percentage of registered female voters for the forthcoming tripartite elections.