Bertina Chimombo, 29, and Agnes Abisoni, 26, led a group of 34 women in conquering Africa’s highest land mass, 5 895-metre Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, last Sunday.
The two climaxed their daring feat by hoisting the Malawi flag during their participation in the Food and Climate Justice Campaign in Africa.
The campaign’s key focus is agricultural investment, land rights and climate justice. This is a 2015 regional initiative, which aimed at ensuring that women, who are major producers of food on the continent, have access and control over land.
When the women’s charter of demands is synthesised, the African Union (AU) will press member states to enact laws which are user-friendly to women.
Chimombo and Abisoni, who are representatives of rural women farmers under the National Smallholder Farmers’ Association (Nasfam), stood out last year when they were star performers during the earlier part of the campaign, which took them and their colleagues to the top of Mulanje Mountain.
“When we reached Tanzania, after joining a caravan of buses carrying fellow participants from other countries nearly two weeks ago, the assignment of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro proved to be very tough. It took us five days to complete the difficult ascent, partly through snowy and high altitude conditions.
“We now want our land laws to fully embrace rights for us, women, who do most of the agricultural work in our communities. We also want the laws to be made available in our vernacular languages,” Chimombo told reporters at Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe on Monday after fly back home from Tanzania,” he said.