he tendency to associate a region with a political party is said to be a major reason most women failed to win local government elections in Kasungu.
This was announced during a meeting which Governance, Gender and Justice Development Centre (GGJDC) held on Wednesday with women from various political parties to highlight challenges women face in taking up leadership positions.
According to women who contested as ward councillors in the 2014 Tripartite Elections, the parties they represented were not popular in the district, a development which contributed to their losing the elections.
Agnes Nyirenda, who contested in Mpasadzi Ward on United Democratic Front (UDF) ticket, said she was told point blank by people that her party belonged to the South and that the Central Region is for Malawi Congress Party (MCP).
“I knew I was a strong candidate but I had no chance because my party was not popular in the region,” she said.
Echoing Nyirenda’s sentiments, Mary Kazombo, who contested on People’s Party (PP) ticket in Kavunguti Ward, also said she lost because her party was not favoured in the district
GGJDC district coordinator Hastings Kalima said the meeting sought to identify women who have potential to stand in the next elections.
He said: “We want to build their capacity and enhance their confidence so that in 2019, we have more women winning as councillors.”
Kasungu Municipality mayor Ireen Katola encouraged women to not be intimidated by men or political parties.
“If we can remove the issue of voting based political party lines and start looking at people’s capabilities, we will have more women in politics,” she said.
Through the Women Empowerment 4 Leadership (WE4L) project being supported by Hivos, GGJDC is holding such meetings targetting women in Kasungu, Nkhotakota, Mchinji and Lilongwe.n