Mzimba-based women aspiring to contest for ward councillorship next year are optimistic to win, thanks to a mentorship initiative that seeks to eliminate gender disparities in politics.
As part of Women Empowerment for Leadership (WE4L) Project, Tovwirane Organisation is training female aspirants in persuasive communication, governance and other skills they need to compete favourably against male contenders.
Currently, there are only two female councillors in Mzimba which has 14 wards.
In an interview, Idah Chikota-Shaba, a ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) aspirant said most women are willing to join politics and vie for top positions, but lack guidance, skills, motivation and support.
“Most women lose elections because they do not know how best to prepare for elections,” she said.
United Democratic Front (UDF) aspirant Legester Msofi said supporting women to become councillors and members of Parliament would promote the well-being of Malawians.
Equally enthused was Mzimba Solala Constituency People’s Party (PP) chairperson Maureen Moyo.
“WE4L is an eye-opener,” she said. “With the mentorship project, I am optimistic that more women will win in 2019. Time to look down upon ourselves is over. This is our chance to show that we can make a difference,” she said.
According to Tovwirane monitoring and evaluation officer Edah Mtika, the five-year initiative, funded by the Dutch Government through Hivos, strives to enhance women capacity to fully participate in politics and decision-making.
The change agents are working closely with political and traditional leaders to rail against barriers that exclude women from holding decisive positions in the country. n