“To empower yourselves in order to improve your lives,” she told hundreds of celebrating women who assembled at Luchenza community ground to witness the launch of the group which was mooted in 2018 seeking to move women from cesspit of poverty to prosperity.
The First Lady, who is Patron of charity Beautify Malawi (Beam), said: “School knows no age...at the office they will look at your degree and not your age.”
One of the cardinal aims of Beam is to empower the girl child by supporting payment of fees and other necessities for girls to continue with education.
Mutharika said she will allow a 12-year-old get married and have five children. “That girl needs to go back to school,” she said, adding: “Nothing is impossible...At any age; you can achieve anything you want.”
She said apart from making Malawi beautiful, her Beam was also running a programme called ‘More Than a Mother’ which helps childless women to seek ways to correct their biological problems, some of which can be rectified through simple medical procedures and bring back the dignity of bearing children.
She said women themselves were at the forefront of stigmatizing and backbiting fellow children women, saying a woman who had no children was still a mother.
She said women in Malawi have suffered and divorced because they could not bear children, but the First Lady assured the audience that with counseling and medical support, many childless women will be smiling soon.
Traditional Authority Nanseta commended the First Lady for championing the girl child education and ending teen marriages through Beam.
However, the chief bemoaned hunger in his authority, saying it had affected many households and hoped help was on its way.
Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare Minister Mary Navicha said she hoped the aims and ideals of the Luchenza group will spread across the country for more women and girls to benefit.
Navicha said Government had set up various programmes to empower women, including ‘Mtukula Pakhomo’, a cash transfer programme that benefits 70 % of women in the country.
Patricia Magalasi, Chairpesron of the group, hoped they will move places to spread the concept so that more women and girls benefit.
An impromptu catwalk—eagerly participated by women of different sizes and from different backgrounds including lawmakers- and a dancing competition, was some of the highlights at the function.
All participating women received hampers as Christmas gifts, courtesy of the First Couple, who also donated various raflle prizes including a fridge.