Oxfam in Malawi has donated personal protective equipment (PPE) to female parliamentarians of Balaka South and West under the Elect and Retain Campaign to respond to the pandemic in their respective constituencies.
Under this initiative, female lalwmakers are supported with various items to distribute to their constituencies.
This also helps the female legislators to woo the electorate to vote for them again in the next election.
The PPE includes chlorine, motorcycles and bicycles .
Speaking after making the donation to the two female legislators, Oxfam programme coordinator Thandizo Mugwira said their mandate is to ensure a 50-50 women representation in Parliament and other key positions.
She said the donation was one way of making women parliamentarians more resourceful in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Said Mugwira: “The Covid-19 PPE will be distributed among their constituents while soap and chlorine will be distributed in health facilities.
“The motorcycles and bicycles will help the s structures to address mobility challenges when dealing with gender- based violence to ensure that the cases are reported with speed.”
On her part, Balaka South lawmaker Ireen Mambala said the donation was timely and would assist constituents to respond to Covid-19 and deal with gender-based violence.
She said: “You will note that the Covid-19 pandemic has come with so many negative impacts on our girls such that we have seen so many of them getting pregnant, a development which is worrisome.”
“It is expected that the motorcycles and bicycles will be effective in ensuring that girls are protected from the gender-based violence.”
Mambala, one of the two female lawmakers in the district, said the motorcycles and bicycles will ease mobility challenges, adding that working with girls will now be easy.
Balaka has four constituencies and lawmaker for Balaka West is Bertha Mackenzi Ndebele.