To celebrate this year’s International Women’s Day which falls on March 8, Chancellor College (Chanco) Brother 2 Brother Theatre stormed the Great Hall stage with a play.
The play, which had no title, devised by the cast and directed by Chanco’s senior lecturer in drama Dr. Zindaba Chisiza, centred on influencing communities, councils, religious institutions and others who gathered for the commemoration to empower women in financial decision-making positions.
Nellie Mnkhwamba, a second year bachelor of arts humanities student who acted as a woman whose aspirations to contest as a member of Parliament (MP) were rejected by electorates because she was a woman, was thrilling in the play.
In the setting, Mnkhwamba was approached by a female journalist who interviewed her on why she is not interested to contest in the tripartite elections this year.
In her response, she froze and had a flashback of what she encountered in the previous elections. In the flashback, communities were seen waiting for a shadow legislator at a political rally and as soon as she arrived, the communities, including the party chairperson, left saying ‘aaaaa mzimayi angakhale phungu wathu’ (can a woman be our legislator?).
With a burning passion to lead the people of her area, the actress went to her centre of worship where she expressed interest to contest for the post of treasurer. Here, she was also rejected as some members argued that a woman cannot be in control of church finances.
The two incidents shocked her as to why communities and believers are against females in decision-making positions.
The rejections pushed her to go out of the community to town where she invested in other businesses.
In his sentiments, Chisiza said institutions of higher learning should plant a seed of a gender responsive budget in students as they will not depart from it when they are in the industry.
UN Women elections and gender officer Victor Maulidi said the future of the country belongs to the inclusion of women in gender related budgets.
“Women have the capacity to understand financial related matters that will contribute to the development of the country if they are actively engaged in fiscal issues,” he said.
On his part, GIZ team leader Dr. Rolf Drescher said Malawi has the capacity to achieve economic stability if it invests in her women. n