The Swedish Organisation for Individual Relief (Soir) has urged Malawi to enhance women economic empowerment initiatives for the country to achieve a meaningful social, economic and political transformation.
Speaking after visiting Soir-funded projects in Thyolo on Tuesday, the organisation’s president, Birthe Muller, observed that women who earn their own income tend to have fewer children, thereby reducing the pressure on national resources.
Muller said studies have shown that fertility rates are inversely related to national income growth, hence the need to align the number of children a woman has with available resources.
“However, this can’t be practical where a woman’s level of education is low. This is because education directly affects her decision-making process when it comes to questions about contraception, age of marriage, fertility, child mortality, modern sector employment and earnings,” she said.
Muller added: “Unfortunately, widespread cultural and economic practices work to prevent women empowerment in this area.”
She said that Soir is funding Community Activity in Harmonising Cultural Practices with sexual and reproductive Health Rights (Com Act) project in Mulanje and Thyolo by the Creative Centre for Community Mobilisation (Creccom) as one way of empowering women.
Creccom executive director George Jobe thanked Soir for the financial support, which he said has played a critical role in eliminating harmful social and cultural practices in the two districts.