Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare has underscored the need for active political participation among young women. Director of Gender in the Ministry Mercy Safalao said this in Blantyre during a political empowerment campaign of young women in elections.
Safalao said government had realised the need to empower young women and has always committed to empower young women through various policies and programs.
“We have policies in place that are aimed at empowering young women to take an active role in politics. We want to ensure that the country achieves the 50-50- target in politics between men and women,” said Safalao.
Viwemi Chavula, who is team leader for 50-50- Campaign Management Agency said despite registering an increase in number of female members of Parlianment from 32 to 45 in 2019 and from 53 to 67 female councilors, the average number of young women in politics is below 10.
“Much as we registered an increase in number of female candidates winning on parliamentary and councilor seats in the may 21 tripartite elections, we are not satisfied with the numbers. You may wish to note that out of the women who won in may 21, only two are young women below 35 years,” said Chavula.
One of the youthful female politicians, Carol Mdala who is a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Ward Councilor for Chilaweni in Blantyre Rural East Constituency and also the chairperson for Blantyre District Council said Malawians mustchange their mindset towads women leaders in the country if the 50-50 goals are to be achived.
Mdala told MBC that the road to her success was not easy in the May 21 tripartite elections as she faced verbal insults just because she is young and female. She said if not for her confidence and courage to achieve her ambitions, she could have given up way back.
“The road to my success has been tough and challenging. I could hear my opponents despising with an intention to pull me down,” explained Mdala.
According to Mdala, there are many young women across the country who have the zeal to contribute to the country’s development through politics just like but face challenges such as lack of financial support, societal wrong perception towards young women, verbal and psychological torture.
The development prompted 50-50- Campaign Management Agency in collaboration with other stakeholders held a meeting in Blantyre to reflect on how young women performed in the may 21 elections.
The meeting brought together young women who won during the may 21 tripartite elections and those who did not make it to encourage them not to give up but rise and claim their destiny.