Minister of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare Patricia Kaliati on Friday wrapped up the women’s month of March in style when she launched her new book titled She Participates. The event took place at Peermont Presidential Hotel in Lilongwe.
In her address, Kaliati said in the book she is appealing to women to start participating in matters affecting their future and welfare.
She said: “I am appealing to that young girl in the village, that abused woman, and yes, thousands of oppressed females who have had their prospects frustrated by the [male-dominated] system despite their active participation in the process. We need to wake up. We don’t have to be our own enemies. We need to participate inside out proactively.”
The minister said the book reminds Malawians of the battles that women face and continue to fight against social, political, cultural and religious systems. Women are at the centre of all events that have made history.
Part of the book reads: “It is worth noting that government policies and legislation have been created in favour of women and with good will. However, their success depends on the management strategies that treat women differently, more so negatively due to the social constructs determined by the corporate culture.”
She Participates chronicles Kaliati’s experiences as well as the domestic context of the life of the girl child and women mixed with parameters set by stereotypes.
In the book, she dares the truth that shies away from the public domain which eclipses the honour that women deserve throughout history.
The book launch, which was characterised by music, poetry and speeches, was attended by several high profile figures.
They included the Speaker of Parliament Catherine Gotani-Hara, Minister of Natural Resources Nancy Tembo, former finance minister Joseph Mwanamveka, UN resident coordinator Maria Jose Torres and the guest of honour, the Second Lady Mary Chilima, among others.
In her speech, Gotani-Hara praised Kaliati for being a strong woman who has supported fellow women in politics and other sectors of life.
She said: “If there is women that inspired, mentored and coached me to join politics, it is Patricia Kaliati and Former President Joyce Banda. I am glad to witness that a fierce political gladiator has written a book.
“It is timely and I believe this piece of literature will inspire more females that everything is possible if we participate rigorously till the end. Malawian political history is incomplete without the name Patricia Kaliati.”
Launching the book, Chilima hailed Kaliati for cementing her prowess with such a remarkable publication.
“Akweni is a living legend. She is a story that keeps inspiring millions in the country and beyond. The book adds more vibrancy to her accomplishments. Our admiration for Kaliati is blossoming. She has participated at all levels and has overcome battles that some of us thought were impossible. We are proud of you and thank you for the gift in the name of this book,” she said.
Commenting about the book launch, Plan International Malawi’s country director Phoebe Kasoga said it is impressive to note that influencers are writing issues that have been outstanding in the society.
“This book is crucial in amplifying the conversation that seeks to make women empowerment a reality. It demands what is expected of all of us to see to it that there is an even representation of females in all spaces,” she said.
The toast of the night was the auctioning of the book during which President Lazarus Chakwera purchasing a copy at K1 million while Vice-President Saulos Chilima bought a copy at K500 000.
The book is available in all leading bookshops at K15 000 per copy.