Member of Parliament (MP) for Machinga East Esther Jolobala has challenged female politicians in the country to desist from begging sympathy votes ahead of the 2019 tripartite elections.
Jolobala made the challenge in Dedza on Thursday during an interface with female politicians on the development of the gender transformative manual.
The Pan African Civic Educators Network (Pacenet) is developing the manual with financial support from United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women).
Jolobala stressed that political positions do not come on a silver platter; hence, the need for those participating to present practical issues to the electorate during campaign to win the votes.
She said: “We have to aim at fighting at the same level with men. Don’t expect to get positions on a silver platter. NGOs [non-governmental organisations] do not need to camp in our areas for us to convince voters that we are capable. We simply have to demonstrate that we are capable just as our male counterparts are.”
Pacenet programme manager Cassidy Magreta disclosed that the goal of their project is to develop a gender transformative community engagement manual for the promotion of women’s participation in leadership including political leadership roles in Malawi.
Magreta said the major objective is to find a lasting solution to gender biases arising from negative cultural practices manifested through such views that place of the woman is the kitchen.
“Other views are that a man is superior to a woman, public positions and power are for men, women cannot do what is believed to be man’s job, make women fearful at times when it comes to participation in politics and decision making positions and leave this to men. We are determined to address these problems to clear the ground for more women representation in the 2019 elections,” he explained.
Meanwhile, Magreta says the project targets four districts, namely; Mzimba in the north, Dedza in Central Region, Machinga in the East and Thyolo in the South.