One of the country`s development partners on women empowerment; SNP Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) has called upon the incumbent female lawmakers to play a critical role in creating a conducive environment for women`s political participation.
The Foundation sounded the plea in Lilongwe on the sidelines of a roundtable discussion with the Parliamentary Women Caucus.
According to SNP Malawi Programme Officer Ndondwa Msaka, much as there is need for concerted efforts in empowering the country`s women, the women themselves need to be on the forefront in championing mindset change on their leadership capabilities in society.
“We know that there are still many challenges when it comes to women active to women`s active political participation from cultural gender norms to political humiliation.
“We want to help to transform mindset change to ensure people understand that women can be leaders, women can be part of change,” said Msaka.
On her part, Chairperson of the Caucus Lonnie Chijere Phiri said there is need to expand programmes that WFD is championing, especially in rural setting.
“Most of the constituencies in Malawi are in rural areas, and youth and women there are denied information, they are not aware whatever is happening.
“They feel like they are not part of the community and when we take good issues to them they don’t really understand the importance of those issues so with that programme going to them I am sure they will be well mentored,” said Chijere Phiri.
WFD is the UK public body dedicated to supporting democracy around the world. And it operates directly in over 40 countries, as it works with parliaments, political parties, and civil society groups as well as on elections to help make countries’ political systems fairer and more inclusive, accountable and transparent.
WFD’s initiatives include: helping protect women from violence in the Middle East, making politics more inclusive in Africa, consolidating democratic institutions in Asia and building trust in democracy across the Western Balkans.
The Foundation is a member of the European Partnership for Democracy (EPD), the umbrella organisation for European democracy assistance organisations.